Private hospitals start homecare packages for Covid-19 patients

ByArchana Mishra, Gurugram
Jun 03, 2020 11:21 PM IST

Private hospitals in the city are reaching out to Covid-19 patients to provide extensive care during their home isolation. As more than 54% such patients in the city are isolated at home at present, the hospitals have introduced homecare packages where patients are monitored 24x7 by nurses and doctors through video calls.

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The private hospitals are also offering to deliver medicines and safety gears at the doorstep of such patients, and if required sample collection too. Even how to wear and dispose of a personal protection equipment (PPE) kit is being taught to caregivers. For 14-17 days of isolation period, the health facilities are providing comprehensive medical care under these packages, which may cost anything between Rs 4,900 and Rs 25,000.

As per the protocol, after a patient and the district health department receive the test results from a diagnostic lab, the local health team suggests home isolation if there are no or mild symptoms. Only after a written consent from the patient, he/she is allowed to be isolated at home. Such patient can depend upon the monitoring by the district health team or opt for the homecare packages introduced by various private hospitals.

“Under our home isolation support programme, the patient who is asymptomatic can isolate themselves at home with complete training and education on ‘How to live in home isolation’ with information education system. The patient can avail doctor’s consultation through video or call who will monitor the patient’s medical needs,” said Dr Ritu Garg, zonal director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.

She said that their consultants are available 24x7 on call in case the symptoms vary, and the patient requires medical attention or hospitalization. Also, the hospital allows patients to consult a nutritionist or a psychologist and avail a tele-rehabilitation call.

Earlier this week, Medanta hospital also started 17-day remote homecare package. At least 75 patients are availing the service under the package. It includes daily monitoring of patients by nurses trained in handling Covid-19 cases. Through video calls, doctors review patients on every fourth or fifth day. It starts on the 3rd day of the home isolation, then 7th day, followed by 12th and 17th day.

Dr Sushila Katariya, who has been handling Covid-19 patients at Medanta hospital since March, said, “At least 75 patients are availing our package. A team of five doctors decide whether a patient can be isolated at home or not. Then we communicate with them, guiding them to take daily vitals and feeding it on our online system. We are available 24x7 for patients.”

Adding that patients have anxiety issues while in home isolation, Katariya said, “Most of them report breathlessness due to anxiety issues. We ask specific questions like do they face difficulties in walking even 10 steps. Sometimes, they ask whether home isolation is legal or can two Covid-19 positive patients stay in a room. Even they ask how to dispose of the waste. Everyday queries are addressed so that patients do not panic.”

According to her, home isolation is the best way to cure until patients show critical signs.

On Wednesday, Artemis Hospital also shared a 14-day personal caregiver package on their website and social media account. A representative of the hospital said, “The services are starting from today. We are providing 24x7 dedicated care by doctors which includes medical advice and psychological support, monitoring of vital parameters and timely support for a quick recovery.”

All these hospitals are guiding patients to use equipment like pulse oximetre to check pulse rate, blood pressure machine and glucometer. If required, these devices are provided at doorstep of the patient as a part of the package. They also provide masks, gloves, and PPE kits. Fortis hospital is providing disposable crockery and bio medical waste management bags on request.

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