As a doctor, we tell you that everything will be great once you’re discharged. It’s a genuine sentiment, as we’ve done our very best to care for you while under the hospital’s charge. However, for the past 20 years, I witnessed my patients' challenges when recovering after post-hospitalization discharge.
Witnessing the recovery process and understanding the true weight of the burden experienced by people trying to heal is quite a significant difference. I learned just how hard recovery can be after my wife was in a serious accident, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. It’s not until you become a patient, or care for one as a family member, that you realize that recovery can be one of the greatest challenges of your life.
I long suspected that post-hospital recovery could be dramatically improved. But, it wasn’t until the tables were turned did I understand how much work there was to be done. The current conventional approaches only address small slices of the problem and have no real program to respond to the broad physical and emotional needs of the patients nor do they integrate the many complex components of the solution. True recovery needs a comprehensive infrastructure that addresses patients' needs and can guide them through the entire journey.
Hospitals, despite their best efforts, have not cracked this code. As such, nobody is adequately prepared for the challenge — not even the family of a physician.
My experiences culminated in a deep-seeded wish to create a game-changing post-hospital recovery solution that can set a new standard for care in the United States. The Laguna team has an unmatched understanding of the problem from the patient, physician, and medical system’s perspective. That is a unique combination and why they are in the best position to meaningfully address this problem. Their depth of understanding in the field of behavioral recovery is unsurpassed. By combining data, technology, and behavioral health, they have built a digital solution designed to assist patients, which will undoubtedly have a major impact in shortening disability and improving quality of life.
As an advisor and outside Chief Clinical Officer, I’ve been fortunate to be one of the first physicians to deploy Laguna for my cardiac patients that are recovering at home.
Finally, I have the confidence that each patient has the support they need to ensure they have the best possible chance to maximize their recovery potential.
Here are some real-world examples of my patients benefiting from Laguna Health as told by the expert behavioral health intervention coaches:
At the end of the customer’s 30 days, the discussion turned to find ongoing support in the form of individual therapy in the customer’s community. When Alli asked what traits were important to the customer that the potential therapist have, the customer responded: “Do you have a clone?” She elaborated that she wanted to feel as seen, heard, and encouraged as she did with Alli.
During the member’s time in the program, a medical scan revealed a growth that would need to be examined to identify if the growth was cancerous. Coach Mary was able to offer him support as he reflected on this news and explored his feelings around the potential seriousness and the unknown. He was in communication with Mary regularly and was very engaged in the Laguna program.
Rachel was assigned a member to coach, consisting of three adult children and the member. Her role was to support a family unit, sharing with them resources, communicating with hospital staff, and reflecting on their strengths and achievements in charting this difficult, unfamiliar territory. One resource Rachel shared was a link to a recording of soothing music which became a daily sleep aid for the primary member and was used by each person in the family unit to find peace, and relaxation. Coach Rachel’s learned that her interactions with the family, which were all conducted by phone or text, made them feel that she was truly caring — and that meant so much to them.
Dr. Mark B. Lampert is Deputy Head, Division of Cardiology at NorthShore University HealthSystem. He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.