Cleveland Woman Gives UH Hospital-at-Home Program a Five-Star Rating

On April 16, 2021, 55 year-old Janora Johnson, a retired nail technician, arrived at the UH Bolwell Family Clinic for a scheduled appointment with her doctor. “I was not feeling good at all,” she said. “And my breathing was a little labored.”

Janora Johnson at home

The clinic staff tested her and confirmed that Janora had COVID-19. They performed an EKG and put her on oxygen to try and make her more comfortable, but ultimately she was transferred to the ER at UH Cleveland Medical Center for more in-depth testing and treatment. There, it was determined that her COVID-19 diagnosis, in addition to her other health conditions, which include congestive heart failure, COPD and diabetes, made it necessary for her to be admitted to the hospital for comprehensive inpatient care.

“When they told me I had to be admitted, I had mixed feelings,” says Janora. “I knew I needed help to feel better but I became very anxious at the thought of being admitted to the hospital. A self-described full-figured woman, Janora had been in the hospital before and knew the challenges it presented for her, including using the bathroom. “The toilets are not comfortable for me,” she says.

“I asked the doctor if I could go home and you guys send someone to me,” she recalls. “Next thing I know, guess what? My prayers were answered. The doctor told me they had a new program called Hospital-at-Home and, if I was interested, I could be their first patient.”

She was interested and eagerly accepted. “The thought of being in my own home, resting in my own recliner and my own bed, watching my own TV and using my own bathroom made me so happy and relieved.”

Janora was transported to her home by EMS, where she received hospital-level care and monitoring for about three days. “It was just like being in the hospital,” she said. “I had morning and evening rounds with the paramedics who checked my vital signs and made sure I was taking my medicines correctly. While they were here, we would Zoom with my team of nurses and doctors and I got to talk to all of them and ask questions. An aide came in the morning to help me get washed up and help around the house and even the doctor came to my home! I felt like a movie star with all the people coming to see me.”

“And then there was the food – and you know everybody likes to eat,” says Janora. “I had three meals a day plus snacks and beverages delivered right to my door – I didn’t have to cook at all. And anything I needed from the pharmacy was brought to me too. It was all very convenient.”

Throughout her care, Janora’s vital signs were remotely monitored and evaluated through the use of a small device. Her health data was constantly transmitted to her care team who stood ready to intervene if her condition worsened or if she was in distress. Luckily that didn’t happen. With the exception of one minor incident in which she needed to be transported to UH Ahuja for the placement of a PICC line, Janora’s care went smoothly.

Now feeling much better, Janora believes that if she had been cared for in the hospital, it would have taken much longer to get better. “The convenience of recovering at home with the care I got, made me feel comfortable and encouraged to get better,” she says. “It couldn’t have been more stupendous. I would recommend this program to anyone who has the opportunity to jump on that band wagon. On a scale of one to five, I give it a six!”