With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, there is an urgent need for more hospital beds across the world. Hospitals are falling ruefully short of funds and space at the same time, not to mention the shortage of health workers.
Although India has made a valiant effort by converting schools, colleges, and even trains into hospitals, there is yet another idea that can help on this front.
Treat the patient at home
We can encourage the treatment of the patient at home whenever the patient’s house is big enough to accommodate a separate room that can be cordoned off. Years of research have proved “hospital-at-home” programs can be safer and have lower rates of complications and death for a wide range of conditions, including pneumonia, which also happens to be the most common reason for hospitalization for COVID-19.
If we can ensure that the family does not get infected, with the help of bodysuits or strict guidelines about how to interact with the patient, there are several benefits to this.
Less pressure on hospitals
The healthcare industry is already reeling under the impact of the virus, and it is hard-pressed to find immediate solutions to an ever-growing list of infected patients. If we can begin treating patients at home, this will be a massive relief to the current infrastructure
Less chance of patient infecting the community
With the patient restricted to the home, there will be lesser chances of him or her infecting the rest of the community. Usually, hospitals carry the most significant risk of spreading the virus, and hospitalizing the patient at home will significantly reduce this risk.
Loved ones will be near
There are several cases where patients feel they are not being taken care of well in hospitals, mainly because they are far from their family. The families of such patients are also worried since they are not allowed to interact. The patient and family will be much more comfortable being in the same house.
Doctors can keep a watch on the patient through daily video chats, and the family will be more than happy to do whatever the physician advises in terms of taking care of the patient. Doctors don’t need to spend time traveling from one place to another and can cater to more patients in this way.
Lower cost to the government
Having the family look after the patient will also reduce the cost of infrastructure for the government. So this money can go towards helping the family to take care of the patient at home by providing the necessary equipment and medicine.
It will free up more resources for the needy
Since those who can afford it will treat their family members at home, this will free up valuable resources at the hospitals to treat the poor and needy who do not have the luxury of treating their family members at home.