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Taking the hospital team home

A post-discharge service where doctors, nurses and therapists make house calls is winning over patients and caregivers.

news-takingthehospitalteamhomeDespite having to look after her bedridden father after he was discharged from hospital, life is now easier for Madam Choo Lay Yan when he needs medical care. That care comes right to her doorstep.

Her father, Mr Choo Thiam Hock, 80, suffered a stroke in September last year and was at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) for five weeks.

Madam Choo, 50, told Mind Your Body: “The doctors at TTSH could not discharge him as he had fever on and off. It was also not practical because he would have to be taken back to the hospital whenever he had a fever.” Then her father was referred to a post-discharge service called Post Acute Care At Home.

Launched by TTSH in December 2008, the programme is for patients who have been discharged but still require rehabilitative or nursing care.

The aim is to provide care that makes the transition from hospital to home seamless, said a TTSH spokesman. “Patients can arrange with doctors, nurses or therapists to visit their home for consultation or therapy sessions,” she said.

The team is also able to collect samples such as blood to be despatched for testing. The scheme is winning over TTSH patients, with more than 200 opting for it in 2009 and more than 300 last year. In the first four months of this year, 173 patients have signed up.

This kind of transitional home care is increasingly being provided by hospitals in recognition of how there is no place like home.

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