Continuity of Cancer Care In A Pandemic: Supportive Home Care Model
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has spared none. But it has been more brutal to people who are in an immunocompromised state. For example, cancer patients have weakened immune system. This makes them all the more susceptible to COVID-19 infection, especially when they visit hospital for follow-up or clinical procedures.
Given this, even cancer hospitals in India are prioritizing patients that require cancer curative therapy. The patients who stand to benefit substantially from treatment are being prioritized in current pandemic situation. The patients who are expected to have only marginal benefit from the treatment, are being deferred right now owing to the risks involved.
As a result, there is a transformation taking place in how post-acute care is delivered to cancer patients away from hospital. Supportive cancer care at home is one approach that is gaining popularity.
Delivering Supportive Cancer Care at Home
The clinical needs of a cancer patient are very unique. They require a more complex care to be delivered to them. Let’s look at what should constitute a cancer care at home program.
Doctor Driven Collaborative Care
The role of a doctor is extremely crucial in cancer care. The patient and their family should be assured of doctor availability. At the same time, the home care doctor should coordinate with the treating onco-specialist and extend his care for the patient at home.
When we initiated cancer care for a 49 years old female patient in Bangalore, our Care Doctor followed the care protocol defined by the oncologist, initiated RT feeds, monitored her body’s response to RT feeds, and constantly interacted with the patient’s family to help them understand what’s happening.
Tele-healthcare Platform for Evidence Based Treatment
The role of a tele-platform becomes crucial in a home care setup, especially when there are multiple specialists involved. Ubiqare’s tele-platform in this case does more than just connect patient to the doctor through audio-video channel. It maintains digital records of the patient’s condition to enable evidence-based treatment.
Physical Visits by Medical Team
Human touch is very crucial when care is delivered to cancer patients at home. So, we provide onco skilled nurses who physically visit the patients at home periodically. Our care doctor also visits the patient at home on need basis.
However, this is done after qualifying patient’s case under the ongoing COVID pandemic and setting up adequate precautions. These steps are taken to minimize the exposure of the patient to possible infections.
Supervised Clinical Interventions at Home
Many cancer patients undergo hospital readmissions due to clinical episodes. These hospital revisits and readmissions can be reduced if these episodes are managed at home. Our cancer home care team is trained to handle clinical episodes at home under the supervision of a doctor.
In a retrospective cohort study conducted in 2019, it was established that Ubiqare’s team had managed 96% of clinical episodes at home for patients. For more details on the types of episodes managed, download the study paper.
Pain Management at Home
Pain is one of the biggest complains of cancer patients. Many cancer patients seek pain management support from a pain specialist who may require physical visit. We collaborate with pain management specialists and enable them to work closely with cancer patients at home. They also collaborate with the treating onco-specialist to make sure their pain management protocol is aligned to the curative treatment.
We have improved the quality of life of a 74-years old cancer patient by collaborating with a pain specialist who offered relief to the patient at home.
In a regular scenario, a cancer patient’s family gets guidance of the medical staff. But in a pandemic situation this loss of guidance can get overwhelming. They struggle with relative inaccessibility of hospital care that adds to their anxieties.
We offer care navigation service to help them make sense of the situation, offer the necessary guidance, and understand the outcomes. We help them find answers to their questions and remove care barriers by delivering care at home for their loved ones.
Benefits of Ubiqare’s Cancer Care at Home
Improves patient outcomes despite restrictions or disconnect due to pandemic
Reduces hospital visits and exposure
Support for family caregivers
Find out more about our Cancer Care at Home service.
Supportive Cancer Care at Home
Explore the full range of cancer care services that we deliver at home to patients