In the recent past, we have seen a number of new companies which have tried the Uber like model for different service sector industries. Home Healthcare has also seen its share of such ventures. The thinking seems to be that since grocery, food, fashion and cabs can be delivered to your home through an app and a technology platform to support the demand, why not healthcare? Why not have a marketplace model for Home Healthcare, where freelancing healthcare professionals are connected to patients’ requiring these services? Similar to other such ventures, the thinking also is to heavily discount these services and build numbers supported by venture capital funding.
But is that really true? Does Home Healthcare only mean the supply of a nurse, doctor, physiotherapist or attendant (ie; manpower supply) to people’s homes when they need one? Let us examine the myths and realities in this theory.
What is Home Healthcare? According to Wikipedia, “Home Healthcare services help clients who are recovering after a hospital or facility stay, or need additional support to remain safely at home and avoid unnecessary hospitalization”. In short, this involves providing extended medical care to patients to enable them to complete the recovery process in the comfort of their homes in a safe manner.
Providing healthcare in any setting comes with a set of responsibilities that are important to ensure a safe and successful recovery.
- Is there a medical team in charge of the patient and is the care being provided according to their instructions – this should ideally be the same team looking after the patient when he/she was in hospital?
- Who is responsible for ensuring that the care being provided is safe and clinically appropriate?
- Is the healthcare professional deputed to deliver this care appropriately trained in the skills required by the individual patient?
- Are clinical records being maintained during the delivery of this service?
- Who is responsible for any potential medicolegal problems?
- Who is responsible if the patient’s clinical condition changes in a way that may need an alteration in the treatment plan?
It is important to have the answers to these and some other questions if one has to provide a reliable home healthcare service. If a cancer patient requires palliative care or stoma care at home, can any nurse provide this care? Is the nurse in a position to make clinical decisions and act upon these decisions in real time? Is price the only consideration for decision making in healthcare, as it may be in the process of ordering a cab or grocery?
At Arooj Home Healthcare, we believe that the success of any Home Healthcare company, or for that matter, any healthcare company, is built on providing a quality service supported by extensive domain experience and backed by technology which enables us to enhance our operational efficiency.
Arooj Home Healthcare was founded by myself and my wife Shantala. Both of us are senior medical professionals with over 30 years of experience each in healthcare practice in 3 different countries. After working for nearly 15 years in the UK, when we returned to India, we found that healthcare support outside of a hospital setting is more or less absent in our country, and what is available is unregulated, unreliable and unorganized. I therefore quit my job as a Senior Surgeon at a major private hospital in Mumbai to devote myself to setting up a Quality Home Healthcare service.
Arooj Home Healthcare is a Medically led, Clinically focused and Technology enabled Specialty Home Healthcare company. We specialize in helping patients achieve a seamless transition from Hospital to Home, and our particular expertise is in the areas of Home ICU Care, Home Stroke Care, Home Cancer Care and Home Mother & Child care.
At Arooj, we believe that the only way to provide a quality Home Healthcare service is by an unrelenting focus on excellence in all areas of our service delivery chain.
This inevitably means that we control all aspects of the customer experience and are constantly seeking ways to enhance our customers’ journey through the course of their association with Arooj Home Healthcare. We achieve this quality by maintaining tight controls on recruitment, training, service delivery, documentation, monitoring, audit, feedback etc, all of which influence our continuous quest for improving the quality of the service that we provide to our patients and their families. This has helped us maintain a healthy organic growth month on month purely through the recommendations of our patients, their families and their doctors.
We believe this level of commitment to quality is the only way to deliver an effective healthcare service, which involves a number of sensitivities and human interactions on a continuous basis. It is unlikely that this can be provided by a freelance marketplace model, where the emphasis is on lead generation and allocation, with little or no control on the quality of care being delivered or the fulfillment of the clinical needs of the individual patient. An Uber like model, therefore may not be quite suitable everywhere, particularly where it relates to healthcare.