It was a fact that all knew.
But it took a COVID-19 for the world to sit up and take notice that the global healthcare system is not entirely equipped to handle rising instances of lifestyle diseases and a pandemic of this scale.
And if reports are to be believed, the situation is unlikely to improve soon.
For example, a study by the UN revealed that the older population (i.e. above the age of 60) would reach 2.1 billion by 2050. The older population will outnumber children under the age of 10.
According to WHO, every year, non-communicable diseases account for 71% of all deaths globally.
With the rise in ageing population and lifestyle diseases, hospitals must start looking for alternatives to manage patient care effectively.
One of the solutions is to leverage out-of-hospital specialist care.
Out-of-hospital specialist care, also called primary or community care, is a type of care rendered to patients outside hospitals. Patients are mostly treated at home or a community centre. Out-of-hospital care is beneficial for both hospitals and patients. While hospitals can decrease their burden of providing continuous care, patients can receive quality treatment at a reduced cost at their home or community centre.
Diseases like cardiovascular diseases and HIV require life-long and continuous care.
For such diseases, out-of-hospital care addresses the three main areas of healthcare that include:
Out-of-hospital care can help patients with chronic conditions to receive customised and continuous care. A few comparative studies revealed that patients demonstrated positive outcomes when provided with improved primary care. It resulted in fewer emergency admissions. Out-of-hospital care can further be boosted with the help of technology. For example, technology can be extremely helpful in cardiovascular rehabilitation. Systematic tools could provide chronic patients with patient-centric, personalised care, which can reduce readmissions and improve their quality of life.
In the last few years, hospitals have been overburdened due to an increase in the number of people living with chronic health conditions. There is a consensus among the health experts for new ways to provide long-term care for patients and to reduce the burden on hospital resources. This has led to a new model of care called out-of-hospital specialist care. Out-of-hospital care has been able to offer proactive and systematic care to chronic patients. It works perfectly for both patients and hospitals. With the intervention of technology, patients can self-manage their conditions by tracking and reporting their vitals to their primary care doctors. Simultaneously, healthcare professionals can access this data and offer evidence-based care to patients remotely. The timely intervention helps hospitals to reduce emergency admissions and enable patients to lead a healthy life.
In 2011, the WHO predicted that the global economic impact of chronic diseases would reach $47 trillion by 2030. Chronic diseases may have economic implications due to low productivity among patients with multiple morbid conditions. The constant care and emergency admissions lead patients to take unplanned leaves or even lose jobs. Increasing hospital costs adds to their burden. That’s where out-of-hospital specialist care can come to rescue. Patients can avail care at their home or community centre without compromising on their regular lifestyle. Devices such as wearables and mobile apps can help the patients to monitor their progress and provide real-time data to their doctors if they need assistance. Out-of-hospital specialist care can then provide individualised care to every patient so that they can lead a life of their choice without any inconvenience.
It is clear that out-of-hospital specialist care has become inevitable to manage patients effectively. To make it more effective, hospitals and patients will have to harness the power of technology. Technology builds proactive and personalised care for patients that help hospitals to deliver better quality treatments cost-effectively.
At Avegen, we specialise in offering out-of-hospital technologies for better healthcare management. Our care management platforms, for instance, are centred on transforming out-of-hospital care for patients and hospitals. It bridges the gap between healthcare professionals and patients, making high-quality care possible.
Especially in times like these, hospitalisation can be a massive risk for pregnant women and patients with morbidity conditions. Out-of-hospital care can, therefore, be useful in delivering timely and quality treatment.