Discuss FromSoftware's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
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FextraBot

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Using this item does not make you lose experience points or sens — contrary to Dark Souls or Bloodborne.
Can you use it in a boss 'room' ?
Yes -- however, it takes quite some time to "get you out". If the boss is agressive, I guess it will be nearly impossible to really use it as the boss will just try and hit you and thus cancelling you journey back to the Dilapidated Temple or last Sculptor's Idol. Can be managed but not in some cases.
No! It take more or less 10~15 seconds to work. Which is nearly impossible to use. It is really stupid considering the death penalty.
Can you use it more than once?
yes
Using Homeward Idol removes any of your active balloon buffs, making it a bit of a pain to use on farming runs for fast return to your idol.