No Place Like Home 2
Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Healthcare at home: follow the leaders

Receive chemotherapy at home. Keep an eye on your heart from home with your cardiologist. Or perform kidney dialysis at night, in your very own bed. There are numerous examples of hospital care at home. And the benefits are clear. So why do patients still need to go to the hospital so often? In the latest edition of our independent study No Place Like Home, we describe the barriers delaying the transition of healthcare to the home. And the solution? It lies in copying what others are already doing. For hospitals, adapting the countless patient journeys that could take place at home is too expensive to do all alone.

No place like home

46% of the care that takes place in hospitals could also be done at home. We explained that last year in the first version of our No Place Like Home report. Making it happen requires a significant change in the healthcare sector.

Four barriers delay the home healthcare transition

If so much care could shift to the home, why is it currently only happening on a limited scale? It’s because of four barriers. The first and most important barrier is within people themselves – and that includes both patients and healthcare professionals. Their skills and way of thinking are focused on providing and receiving care at the hospital. Looking at the possibilities of healthcare at home requires a change in thinking. Much of the resistance is simply a case of cold feet. Every example shows that once patients start receiving treatment at home, everyone sees and experiences the benefits.
The second barrier relates to making data-based decisions. It’s not the intention to ruthlessly send patients away from the hospital. So which patients can go home? And as a doctor, when should you intervene from a distance? Thorough, structured data analysis is essential for answering these questions. Financial incentives also form a barrier to bringing care into the home. Specific product definition that enable remote monitoring are still insufficient. Infrastructure and logistics make up the fourth and final barrier. Home healthcare can be a logistical nightmare: how do you get all the right equipment, technology, connections and sometimes even medical staff into the home? Actually, that should be the least of your worries. Today, the biggest hurdle still comes from barrier 1: people. In practice, there are already lots of possibilities on the technical side.

Just copy the leaders for a large-scale shift to home healthcare

How can we ensure that the transition to home healthcare gains momentum? The answer lies in copying the leaders. At the moment, initiatives for bringing healthcare into the home are popping up left and right, but they also just keep reinventing the wheel. Yet at the same time, as Gupta Strategists shows in their latest study, 90% of all patient journeys are addressed by nearly all hospitals. Hospitals can either go their separate ways or start collaboratively bringing care into the home. That’s the only way to make sure patients get what they deserve: the best care, in the best environment.

Download the full report 'No place like home' (in Dutch) here »