Most people think of home health patients as elderly and home bound, but Medical Alternatives, Baptist Memorial Health Care’s home infusion pharmacy, serves all types of patients in the Mid-South through a non-clinical environment.
“We provide services for patients who require IV therapy at home. This includes a variety of therapies including: antibiotic therapy, Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) for those patients unable to eat, pain medicine, steroids for Multiple Sclerosis patients, IV fluids for patients who are dehydrated and therapy for patients with congestive heart failure,” said Tony Powers, CEO of Medical Alternatives.
Opened on Feb. 25, 1988, Medical Alternatives is celebrating 25 years of services to more than 40,000 patients. Their mission to provide quality home infusion services in an effective, safe and economically efficient manner to improve the patient’s quality of life has stood out in its quarter of a century history.
“Prior to 1988, patients had little choice as to where they could receive their infusion therapy and most stayed in the hospital for extended periods,” said Powers. “With the creation of home infusion pharmacy, these patients can return home and in many cases return to their normal daily activities including work or school, while continuing to receive their infusions. Additionally, we have also recently expanded our services to include pediatric patients.”
Working hand-in-hand with physicians and the skilled nurses from Baptist Trinity Home Care, Medical Alternatives helps to reduce the hospital length of stay by giving patients what they need at home.
Powers describes a senior in high school with endocarditis, an infection of the inner layer of the heart, who can now go back to school because of new technology that allows her to administer her own infusions through a portable device. Medical Alternatives’ colleagues train patients prior to leaving the hospital on how to administer their medications and provide ongoing clinical monitoring and management.
“The technological advances over the past 25 years have been dramatic. Patients can continue to be ambulatory while receiving their infusions secondary to the advent of ambulatory infusion pumps and other infusion devices that are small, light easy to use and very dependable,” said Powers.
Medical Alternatives joined Baptist in 1992 through an acquisition. Powers noted that hospitals began to determine how to get patients at home sooner and Baptist expanded and provided medical services at home, with the addition of Medical Alternatives, Baptist Trinity and Baptist Home Medical Equipment and Supply, during the same time period. Powers noted that homecare is an important component of the Baptist integrated delivery system and Medical Alternatives is proud to be a member of the team.Colleagues at Medical Alternatives, Baptist Memorial Health Care’s home infusion pharmacy, smile for a photo in recognition of their 25th anniversary of service to Mid-South patients.