The word ‘Housepital’ is derived from the word, ‘Hospital’ and basically means a ‘Hospital’in the house. ‘Housepital’ essentially translates to a scenario where the professional services of a hospital are brought to your house, at home. It is a home admission or a house hospital.
Is Housepital synonymous with home-based care?
The short answer is, no. Housepital introduces a new angle where highly trained and qualified nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals with the expertise of handling mild to very sick patients, actually take their services to the patients in the comfort of their homes. This sharply contrasts with the traditional home-based care concept, which mainly entailed nurse assistants or patients attendants taking care of stroke patients, or patients with dementia etc.
The making of Housepital
Medicine is an evolving field and innovation is very important. When the Covid pandemic began, Dr Theophilus Wangata, a physician and lead consultant at Precise Healthcare in Nairobi, Kenya realised the need to fight the disease by treating from home. While attending to patients diagnosed with Covid 19, Dr. Theo noticed that a good number preferred to be treated in the comfort of their homes; a phenomenon that lead to the inception of the Housepital.
Dr. Theo is widely travelled and has had the chance to see and learn the latest inventions in the healthcare industry in many countries abroad. As such, one of the current ways of managing patients is to bring healthcare to them, at their convenience, rather than wait for them to go to hospital. This way, the treatment is not only convenient but also timely and easily accessible. Dr. Theo has fully embraced the concept of the House Hospital. At Precise Healthcare, the clinic offers other services as well, such as weight loss services, pharmacy, laboratory, counselling services, physiotherapy, weight management/ weight loss consultations, ultrasound, nutrition services, chiropractic services and general consultations.
The relationship between the patient and the caregivers is personalised as there is a close one-on-one interaction, which also extends to the family of the patient who are always keen to be briefed every step of the way. This ensures that our patients’ medical issues are addressed in a timely manner and there is ease of communication between the Housepital staff and relatives of the patient, many who would be in different locations both locally and abroad. This helps ease any anxieties or uncertainties regarding the patient’s treatment among their close family members and relatives.
Housepital under Precise Healthcare has partnered with various health institutions; ambulance and rescue institutions such as AMREF, CT and MRI scanning facilities, laboratories, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, physiotherapists, ultrasound sonographers and other healthcare professionals to take treatments to the patient’s home. We also partner with logistics companies to ensure deliveries are done in a timely manner.
We are in the process of bringing on board more partners for a better customer experience. Some of the insurance companies; both local and international have already started embracing our services for the medical treatment of their esteemed clients.
How does Housepital work?
- Someone in need of medical treatment at home gets in touch with us, in most cases through a phone call or an online chat on WhatsApp. It does not matter which part of Kenya they are. They can get in touch with us from any part of the country. We handle logistics even for people in remote areas.
- We do a tele-consult to understand the nature of the medical issue.
- We liaise with the nearest physician/ doctor based in the location of the patient and send the physician there. In case an ambulance is needed, we quickly arrange the same.
- The physician reviews the patients and recommends an action plan for the treatment.
- The action plan may include; starting emergency treatment such as oxygen, intravenous fluids, intravenous antibiotics etc. It may also include taking blood or other samples for laboratory testing depending on the case. Some imaging tests such as ultrasound can also be done at home. In some instances, it includes having the nurse stay with the patient 24/7 for optimal treatment.
- During the course of treatment/ frequent tele-consults are made by the physician and any necessary adjustments made to the treatment. Similarly, physical home visits by the physician or any other medical professionals are done.
- Once the patient has improved, we discharge them from treatment and follow them up at home on a regular basis.
- This service is not only for the sick, but also those who need general check-ups, or those who are on follow-up for chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension etc and who do not have to go to the hospital to avoid getting exposed to other patients as they wait for their results. This is a safer option for patients with chronic illnesses, especially during these difficult times of Covid 19.
- Home-based medical treatment, which Housepital offers, is also very crucial for patients who turn positive for Covid 19 and are supposed to be on home isolation. We have our nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers go to the houses to give the treatments at the convenience of the patients. This ensures that the patients do not need to travel out of the house, which limits possible exposure of the Covid 19 patients to other people. We provide adequate PPE to all our healthcare workers attending to Covid 19 patients. We have also seen good results for homecare treatments of Covid 19 who respond well to treatment as they are in their natural environment.
- For the patients who need advanced ICU care, we organise for them to be admitted in hospital and work closely with various ICUs across the country. For those requiring imaging tests that are only available in hospital or imaging centres such as CT scan or MRI scan, we send them to hospital. We partner with reputable ambulance and rescue companies for this, such as AMREF.
Advantages of medical treatment at home
- Patients are in their natural environment thus heal faster. Being at home can be comforting as it gets the pressure of hospital off the patient’s mind.
- It greatly reduces the risk of being exposed to other infections unlike in hospitals where one can catch hospital acquired infections.
- It is also beneficial to patients with comorbidities whose immunity is already compromised as they do not get exposed to potential infections.
- Patients can continue to eat their favourite food that is cooked at home, listen to their favourite music or TV programmes.
- The patient is assigned a nurse who is with the patient throughout the treatment. This ensures more personalised treatment where the condition of the patient is monitored closely and in a timely manner. The nurse is also able to relay information to the doctor more accurately.