Interview

Home healthcare: A novel way for robust services

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Home healthcare is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, says Rajiv Mathur, Co- Founder, Critical Care Unified, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Q How do you perceive home healthcare scenario in India?

In the past, the home healthcare has been a very unorganised sector. There were many informal arrangements. In our country, some nurses working at hospitals used to do some private works, providing home healthcare services. Today, some medical attendants and physiotherapists are also providing medical assistance in the home healthcare. So, it is an informal and unorganised sector. However, in the last few years the scenario is changing and getting much organised.

Q What inspired you to commence CCU (Critical Care Unified) centre?

We realised the market for home healthcare is huge and there’s a lot of scope. We notice a big need in providing a critical care at home. Because of lack of facilities, which could be otherwise provided at home, many patients continued staying in ICU. This costs them an arm and a leg and it was time-taking procedure for attendants as well. We also observed that in ICU only limited beds are available in our country.

As I’m from a technological background, I understood that there’s a big role of technology in critical care being delivered at home and, frankly, that motivated me the most. Thus, the opportunity and need for home healthcare in India and our focus to provide critical care at home in India, drove me to start CCU (Critical Care Unified).

Q In a relatively unorganised home healthcare services sector, how CCU (Critical Care Unified) can help patients?

The benefit for the patient is it is cost-effective and providing peace being at home. In ICU, patients can acquire various other infections which has less chances of getting picked up at home. Providing critical care is in itself a unique offering.

Our clinical team visits hospital for assessment. We discuss the patients’ case history, with their respective doctors. Based on that we create packages i.e. what type of equipments are required while giving critical care at home, what medication is required, how many visits of doctor are required, does patient need physiotherapy sessions? All of that is considered while creating a package.

Q What are the challenges that CCU faced while delivering the services?

Creating ICU kind of environment at home was beyond imagination for medical fraternity. So, obviously, it wasn’t welcomed. We got some very senior doctors from the fraternity to assess our critical care services in home healthcare sector and they felt satisfied. By this, we overcame one of the challenges. I must mention that we don’t prescribe treatment. We operate and deliver treatment as prescribed by the patient’s doctor.

Other challenge which we faced was that there was not enough talent and trained staff available for the vast need we had in home healthcare. Nurses, who understand infection control, who specialised in that are not enough. Lack of skilled staff is a big challenge. The need is much greater than the availability of skilled staff for delivery of critical care services at home.

The Government is running few skill centres to train medical staff, however that are also not sufficient enough to meet the needs of home healthcare sector.

Q What more we can expect from CCU in future?

What are your future strategies to expand the home healthcare services? First, we focus to ensure that delivering critical care at home should go well. We have our centre in New Delhi. Recently, we have launched one centre in Mumbai. This year we are planning to expand our critical care services into home healthcare sector in three more cities of India. We have also done some research on international market to expand our services in international market.

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