Health Resources

Hospital care in the comfort of your home


Quality healthcare transcends hospital walls as NUHS brings hospital care to Singaporean doorsteps, tackling bed shortages and enhancing recovery in the comfort of one's home.
Issue 2 | September 2023

Hospital care in the comfort of your home

Subscribe todaySubscribe and ensure you don't miss the next issue!

A new healthcare initiative is reshaping how patients experience medical care in Singapore. National University Health System @ Home (NUHS@Home) is a Mobile Inpatient Care @ Home (MIC@Home) service, allowing patients to receive hospital-level care within the comfort of their homes.

As the nation's population ages, and the demand for inpatient care rises, such solutions are essential.

The NUHS@Home advantage

The NUHS@Home programme allows patients who need care that have been traditionally provided in hospital wards such as frequent intravenous drips and regular doctor reviews, to receive them at home instead. Improved sleep patterns, healthier eating habits, and the liberty to move around in familiar surroundings are the advantages which have been commonly shared by patients who have been cared for by the programme. The psychological boost of being in familiar environments, coupled with the presence and supervision of loved ones, often accelerates the healing process.

Furthermore, the spectre of infections acquired within hospital walls - a perennial worry in any healthcare facility - diminishes considerably. As Dr Stephanie Ko, the lead clinician for NUHS@Home and a consultant in the Division of Advanced Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine at the National University Hospital (NUH), aptly puts it, "Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in doorstep deliveries, from groceries to meals to medications. NUHS@Home is timely, bringing medical care to where people feel more secure - their homes."

On a system level, the programme seeks to address the acute bed shortage faced by healthcare institutions such as the NUH by providing alternatives to traditional ward-based hospitalisation. Since its inception in September 2020 at NUH, the programme has treated nearly 4,000 patients over more than 25,000 bed days at home. This strategy not only optimises crucial hospital resources but also provides patients with a more comfortable and familiar recuperative setting.

A glimpse into the programme

The NUHS@Home programme is comprehensive. Under its umbrella, patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and therapists. They are provided round-the-clock virtual care, the capability to monitor vital signs and when required, the assurance of home visits by healthcare professionals. Whether it is the administration of intravenous treatments or conducting routine tests like blood and urine analyses, the quality of care at home is on par with that of traditional hospitals.

Ms Teo Soo Leng, who was hospitalised under NUHS@Home for cellulitis and bacteremia, says "Initially, I am sceptical about how the doctors and nurses will be able to support me virtually. However, I am impressed by how proactive and contactable the team is when I am on the programme.”

Its versatility is further underscored by the array of conditions it addresses - from common ailments like cellulitis, urinary tract infections and pneumonia, to more particular needs like post-operative care for specific surgeries. The programme's adaptability is evident in its expansion to cater to paediatric patients, further broadening its reach and impact.

As NUHS@Home scales up, there is a clear emphasis on integrating technology into its care model. Remote vital sign monitoring solutions, the use of video consultations, chatbots and smart-glasses like Google Glass aim to reduce the programme's reliance on human resource, ensuring sustainability in the long run.

Developing the healthcare workforce for the future

With patient-centred initiatives like NUHS@Home, which is constantly evolving and expanding, NUHS further strengthens its commitment to delivering quality healthcare that is accessible and adaptable to the needs of Singaporeans. In doing so, we hope to attract healthcare staff including doctors, nurses, allied health and clinical support staff who are keen to be part of the healthcare transformation, making it more impactful and accessible by bringing hospital care to the home.

Like this article? Simply subscribe to make sure you don't miss the next issue of EnvisioningHealth!
Subscribe today

Last updated on
Best viewed with Chrome 79.0, Edge 112.0, Firefox 61.0, Safari 11
National University Health System
  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • National University Polyclinics
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
  • National University Heart Centre, Singapore
  • National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore
  • NUHS Diagnostics
  • NUHS Pharmacy
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
Back to Top