For many seniors, there’s no place like home, even when health problems become difficult to manage. As such, Dr. Lee Lindquist, section chief of geriatrics and associate professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at Northwestern, is committed to helping ensure that seniors are able to remain in their own homes as they age.
Last year, Lindquist led the expansion of a Northwestern Medicine Home Care program that offers primary care visits in seniors’ own residences — a service intended not only to reduce nursing home placement but also cut down on healthcare costs, offer a better patient experience, and give providers a more comprehensive picture of a senior’s overall health and lifestyle.
But the desire for such home-based care currently outpaces the number of available providers.
To help answer the call, Northwestern is now joining a national initiative to increase training of professionals in the field and ensure the benefits of home-based primary care are made available to more seniors.
In August, the Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing high-quality primary care in the home, named Northwestern one of just eight “Centers of Excellence.” As part of this national network, Northwestern will join other top medical institutions — including Cleveland Clinic, the University of Pennsylvania, Mount Sinai and the University of California, San Francisco — in offering a new training program in home-based primary care.
The program, launched at Northwestern in December, offers tracks for providers — such as physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants — as well as supporting clinicians and administrative leaders. The training spans both classroom instruction and field experience, and also includes ongoing support and education.
“Having more practitioners provide home visits is a really key way that we can make sure that our seniors are able to stay in their own home,” Dr. Lindquist said.