Vibrant senior looks at cell phone while relaxing on couch

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When seniors are released from the hospital, they may be left in the dark when it comes to how to move forward with at-home recovery. 

Yoni Shtein, CEO and co-founder of Laguna Health, a company that provides specialized post-hospital recovery solutions, talks about the concept of contextualizing patient care. 

“For most of these people, they transition after surgeries and hospitalizations into the home with a stack of papers called discharge instructions, which are not very friendly or helpful,” Shtein said. ”[These papers] are quite generic and dry, making it extremely difficult to follow or adhere to for anyone without high health literacy or ability to understand those clinical nuances. Most importantly they lack the much-needed emotional, behavioral or what we call, contextual, support in the months recovery journey at home.”

The contextualizing care at home concept refers to identifying a particular patient’s circumstances and applying those circumstances with a recovery plan going forward, Shtein explained. Contextual information can include a patient’s financial situation, transportation access, medication adherence or caregiver support.

“That transition from the hospital is really fascinating,” said Shtein, who prior to founding Laguna experienced firsthand the emotional and behavioral support challenges of the transition from the hospital to home. “It’s very clinical in nature and focuses predominantly on logical or physiological aspects of the procedure to the home, at which point the context of your life is as important, if not more, than your biological or physiological. At that point, we look at the individual or member from a biomental or contextual standpoint.”

Essentially, Laguna starts where the hospital ends, Shtein said. While the hospital provides discharge instructions and a baseline for biological recovery, Laguna fills in with the mental and contextual aspect of recovery. Laguna provides behavioral health interventions, combining a digital and data-driven approach with a dedicated expert care team to guide patients through their recovery journeys, according to the company’s website. Laguna members receive access to a digital care platform and a dedicated team of specialized recovery experts to assure a successful recovery.

Recovery at home has been increasingly abundant in the COVID-19 era, Shtein noted.

“COVID pushed people out of hospitals to the home far earlier in the journey than usual, making it more important to provide that support in the home in the first place,” Shtein said. “Digital trends enable this to be effective as a technology-enabled solution, which allows us to provide that solution at scale to folks in the comfort of their homes.”