The programs of Home Hospitalization (HD) of the National Health Service (SNS) reached a new milestone in 2022, with almost 9 thousand patients treated at home, announced the Ministry this Friday, March 10.
In total, there were 8.932 patients receiving hospital care at home, an increase of 20,4% compared to 2021, totaling 87.747 days of home hospitalization, 24,9% more than in the previous year.
HD programs are, according to this Ministry, an alternative model of hospitalization, which guarantees quality medical assistance and health care, differentiated and close to patients in their homes, thus contributing to alleviate the pressure of hospitalization services of hospitals and reduce the risk of infection and loss of autonomy for patients, with greater comfort for patients and their families.
There are already 36 hospitals and hospital centers in the SNS with HD programs in operation, with a total of 339 beds at the end of 2022, 29 more than in the previous year, which is already equivalent to the capacity of a medium-sized hospital.
In order to respond to the needs of these users, HD teams carried out 2022 home visits in 113.492, 19% more than in the previous year, with an average stay of 37 minutes by health professionals at the patient's home. The number of nursing visits recorded an increase of 97,2%, totaling 318.000 visits. At the same time, there was a 62% increase in non-face-to-face contacts within the scope of these programmes, totaling 50.712. The average length of stay of patients at home was 9,9 days.
During hospitalization under HD programs, «all the necessary clinical support adapted to individual needs, including pharmacological support», says the National Health Service.
Daily contacts are also made to the user's home, by health professionals, as determined by good international practices, with the patient being monitored through a telemedicine service, which combines voice, image and transmission of clinical data in real time.
According to data from the National Program for the Implementation of Home Hospitalization Units, in 2022, direct admissions of users to HD had an increase of 68,3% compared to 2021.
HD allows patients who meet a certain set of clinical, social and geographic criteria to be hospitalized in the comfort of their home. It is ensured by teams of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, among others, who guarantee care 24 hours a day, every day, and provide and manage patient therapy. HD programs ensure more comfort for the patient, associated with lower mortality and infection rates and a reduction in the likelihood of readmission.