Patient Stories

Hear what patients are saying

Curtis Carlson

When Curtis Carlson started having back pain this spring, he tried to put off seeing a doctor. The COVID-19 pandemic was raging, his job at a transitional housing organization in Ukiah, California, was busier than ever amid the economic collapse and a hospital seemed like the last place he wanted to be.

But when he finally took himself to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a kidney infection, Carlson figured he would have no choice but to stay. Instead, his doctors told him about Adventist Health’s Hospital@Home program that would allow him to finish the rest of his hospital care at home, with a medical team monitoring him virtually around the clock and making in-person visits multiple times each day.

“I was blown away,” says Carlson, 49. When it became clear that staff would set up the equipment, which all fit on a TV tray, in Carlson’s home, and that he’d be able to communicate with his medical team via iPad, he was on board. “It was easy enough that I could use it, which was awesome,” says Carlson, who describes himself as “terrible” at technology.

Carlson’s experience was revolutionary, he says. After one night in the hospital, he was back at home with his wife and their four sons. “The biggest part for me was when I got home, seeing the look of relief on my 7-year-old’s face,” Carlson recalls. “While they were putting in the electrical wizardry, I asked him, ‘Were you worried about me?’ You could see him just crumble a little bit. He was definitely very happy Dad was home.”

Carlson had his stay covered by his state Medicaid plan, and says he would choose the at-home model again if he needed care in the future. After four days of treatment at home, his doctors determined he was ready to be discharged. But before the Adventist Health team moved forward, they helped Carlson find a primary care physician, transitioned his records and relevant information and made sure he scheduled a follow-up appointment. The tech team arrived to pick up the equipment and Carlson remained in place.