Hyderabad, October 6th, 2023: On the occasion of World Heart Day, Apollo Hospitals, the leading cardiac surgery program in Hyderabad, introduced the concept of ‘Home Discharges’ for all patients undergoing cardiac surgery at Apollo Hospitals. The Homecare Recovery program is part of an integrated offering with cardiac surgery thereby constituting an end-to-end continuum of care for cardiac patients from admission to full recovery. This 2-week program promises faster recovery, reduced medical complications, round-the-clock care and is fully integrated with the discharge advice of the cardiac surgeon. This is the first time such a program is being offered in Hyderabad and aims to set a new benchmark in post-discharge clinical care.
Dr Sangita Reddy, JMD, Apollo Group said, “This integrated care offering is a step forward in our vision of providing an effective continuum of care for patients. We believe in being part of a patient’s lifelong health journey. Every heart patient who gets treated at Apollo becomes part of our Healthy Hearts Club. The program design as well as outcomes are on par with best in the world and reinforce our values of clinical excellence. The Cardiac team at Apollo Hospitals has been doing outstanding work over the years. Apollo Hospitals has been serving the community for over four decades and in this time frame we reached a hundred thousand milestone, something which no other institution in the world has done. More importantly the fact that the success rate has been extremely high. This was possible because we are in constant pursuit of better methodology to treat the patients, to cure the patient, keep them comfortable and prevent heart disease. Each of our specialists from the cardiac team has done multiple innovations, whether it’s in angioplasty, multiple ways of doing angioplasty, using advance machines like OCT to enhance the success rate, among the first ones to do the structural heart work like the TAVI or TAVR.
Dr Sangita Reddy added, Today, I am going to talk about an interesting innovation, which is a combination of technology and being dedicated to what the patient prefers. Patients always prefer to be at home to recover. We are working to ensure the shortest stay of patient at the hospital, quicker and better recovery, but more important is with the comfort and the support of everyone in the hospital being available at home, either directly on the call, doctors or nurses visiting, remote monitoring, physiotherapy coming home and putting this into a neat clinically validated package and implementing this through Apollo Home care. Hyderabad has been at the forefront of innovation, we have completed 600 patients in an extremely successful pilot, which is clinically successful but more importantly the patient satisfaction is much more superior. They go home and say we feel superbly comfortable, not just the patients, their spouses, their family feel that comfort and assurance of the doctors being always available, watching, monitoring, even when the patient is at home. Such a combination of technology, remote care patch, telemedicine, central monitoring station, a unique patient care protocol is being launched. Need based appropriate home care support is what we are offering, this is a highly successful program. I see this program going across the country and I congratulate the doctors for working with the home care team and making this a reality. This is one more step toward a healthy population. Cardiac continues to remain the most major ailment in the world, it is estimated that 23% to 34% of all mortality is because of cardiac problems and more importantly 52% of the world’s cardiac patients are in India. We need to do much more, towards this. We are also making sure that every post heart incident patient, whether it is an angioplasty or an MI or heart surgery patient, everybody joins the healthy hearts club, because we want them not just to get cured and to recover but also stay healthy, we will ensure continued additional care for our cardiac patients. The heart will remain the heart of Apollo’s care. The heart care at home is included in the insurance package, with no additional cost to the patient, yet they get the support.”
Patients who undergo heart surgery often face a long and challenging recovery process post-discharge. While there are a number of organised and unorganised providers who offer nursing and physiotherapy services, these services often not overseen by a doctor, do not follow the discharge advice of the surgeon and are not standardised in terms of quality and protocols. Therefore, patients and their families often struggle with post-surgery challenges such as pain management, wound care, mobility issues, medication management, BP and glucose level fluctuations, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. Their recovery in the short term and long term may not be optimal and they may not reach the goal of desired quality of life. Being in continuous contact with the surgeon for advice in all these situations can be challenging and many hesitate in doing so, thereby adding to their stress.
Recognizing these hurdles, Apollo arrived at the conclusion that surgery is not complete upon hospital discharge; rather, it should extend into the patient’s home in the form of a professionally executed, planned recovery program. Therefore, in conjunction with Apollo Homecare, it has devised a curated and personalized 2-week recovery program which is benchmarked with the global best-in-class cardiac surgery recovery programs. This program is conducted by a team of qualified medical professionals including physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, and care coordinators who work collaboratively to deliver expert medical care and rehabilitation, all under the watchful guidance of the cardiac surgeon. Planned recovery is ensured through a structured day-to-day plan with physical and virtual follow through with specific measurable goals and outcomes.
Dr AGK Gokhale, Sr Consultant Cardiac Surgeon said, “Adherence to the discharge advice is very important to the patient’s recovery and long-term health outcomes. A planned recovery program not only helps patients to follow the discharge advice but also helps them recover faster through proactive mobilization and rehabilitation and helps manage majority of the post-surgical complications. We are certainly seeing this benefit being achieved for our patients”.
Dr PV Naresh, Sr. Consultant Heart and Lung Transplantation and Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said, through the home care services we are extending the follow up of the patients to their home. Minor issues can be taken care of at home, they need not rush to the hospital for such problems. 93% of pain management can be taken care of at home and there is no need for him to come to hospital. Constant counselling while at home will help patient to get advice and recover faster. Sometimes follow up is needed for a longer period of six months to one year, which the patient can do by seeking counselling from home, without coming to hospital frequently.
The program offers multiple advantages. Patients benefit from a faster recovery, often up to two weeks faster than those who don’t opt for a planned recovery program. This accelerated recuperation leads to better long-term outcomes as well. Moreover, patients receive care for common post-discharge medical conditions which reduces post-surgery complications, wound dressing, ongoing parameter monitoring, assistance with medication adherence, round-the-clock support from a dedicated coordinator and overall improved compliance to the surgeon’s post-discharge advice. In cases of emergencies, the hospital and cardiac surgeon are readily accessible, providing patients and their families with much needed access and peace of mind.
Most importantly, this program offers patients careful hand-holding and support throughout their recovery journey until they are restored to their best possible health. To date, Apollo Hospitals has successfully extended this program to more than 300 to 500 patients and their families. Encouraged by their overwhelmingly positive response, Apollo has decided to incorporate Home Discharges into the standard care plan for every cardiac surgery done at the hospital.