By Mary Myers

China has a population of 1.4 billion and 5.7 million hospital beds. This equates to about four hospital beds for every 1,000 people. For Chinese patients, receiving medical care means waiting in long lines. It’s a pressing challenge throughout the republic.

In the United States, we have worked to maximize how we use hospitals by innovating new care models, including home care. I’ve written about how hospital-based care is not enough. We need an integrated system that includes hospitals, clinics and, importantly, the home. Home care improves efficiencies and reduces costs by diverting lower-acuity patients to the home, not the hospital.

Home care is a mature and successful care model in the United States—Johns Hopkins began offering and innovating home health care back in the 1950s. Although home care is still a new concept in China, many of us across Johns Hopkins believe this delivery model will mean more effective medical services and improved patient experience in health care systems there.

Asia Pacific Health Care (APHC) also recognizes the possibilities of home care and has begun to explore implementing the model as a viable and novel solution to inaccessible and inefficient in-patient care in China. APHC understands what the latest research indicates: People are happier and healthier when they heal at home. They’re more comfortable, and they’re less likely to fall. They’re less likely to be confused or to have a medication error.

After setting up the groundwork, APHC entered into a collaboration in February 2017 with Johns Hopkins Medicine International and the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group (JHHCG)—a leader in the field—to accelerate its plans to integrate home care to its services.

JHHCG, where I serve as the president/CEO, has worked on building APHC’s infrastructure and workforce to include nursing professionals and administrative staff, and we established a design that supports multiple specialties. Service offerings include postnatal care for both mother and baby, care for postoperative gastrointestinal surgery patients and disease management for the chronically ill.

The consultancy also covers guidance on how to educate the market about home care and build relationships with local hospitals to serve more patients. In the coming year, Johns Hopkins and APHC will work collectively to expand APHC’s specialties to include elder care and rehabilitation.

We at Johns Hopkins are enthusiastic about sharing what we’ve learned over many years of creating integrated health care models. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with international colleagues such as APHC as they strive to build their capacity in home care and integrate what we believe is an important part of patient-centered care.

As president/CEO of Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, Inc. (JHHCG) and president of Home and Community-Based Services for Johns Hopkins Health System, Mary Myers focuses on providing the highest quality care to patients within their homes and the community. Myers began her tenure with Johns Hopkins Medicine in 1981, and later went on to manage Johns Hopkins Bayview’s CICU, PCU and MICU. She then created and implemented Bayview’s comprehensive care management program and worked with the JHU Case Management Academy to implement programs nationwide. Myers began working with operations integration, which led her to JHHCG, where she created and implemented a robust quality and safety program. In 2005, she became VP/chief operating officer before assuming her current role in 2016.

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This post highlights content from JHI’s FY17-FY18 Impact Report, Realizing the Mission. Read the full report and check out this video to learn more about our transformational work in international collaborative health from the last two fiscal years.

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