For three years UZ Leuven has been working together with the government on a pilot project for oncology treatment at home. For this, the oncological care team joined forces with the Wit-Gele Kruis, i-mens, independent home nurses and GP association Khobra to be able to give patients a high-quality and safe oncology treatment at home. This collaboration model also allows hospitals hospitals to avoid having to send their often scarce and expensive nurses to patients at home.
The collaboration with home care organisations allows to offer patients home hospitalisation, irrespective of their place of residence.
Annemarie Coolbrandt, nursing specialist at UZ Leuven, hopes that the transmural collaboration can start again after the summer. “From 2018 onwards we have working hard for two years to get the pilot project off the ground and since 2020 we have given it our all to prepare the long-awaited start. We're therefore very pleased that the legal framework is ready now. This means that hopefully we will be able to restart home hospitalisation for certain types of oncology treatments. The cooperation with the first line is for UZ Leuven an obvious model as home nurses work in a more specialised way and as hospitals and first line now also work together more actively. What's more, our patients sometimes live far away from the hospital. By collaborating with the home care organisations we can offer patients home hospitalisation, irrespective of their place or residence.”
The fact that home hospitalisation is by far not possible for all oncology treatments is also confirmed by prof. dr. Hans Wildiers, oncologist at UZ Leuven: “Safety and a good follow-up of our patients comes first. This is why at UZ Leuven we carefully assess for which treatments we can make home hospitalisation possible. In any case, our pilot project has taught us that this can be done in a safe manner for a number of treatments. We have set up good arrangements for training, coordination, exchange of data and follow-up so that we can ensure our patients receive high-quality care at home.”
The added value and the comfort for patients plays an important part to further pursue home hospitalisation from UZ Leuven. Patients in the pilot project were very happy to be administered their treatment (partly) at home. This also goes for Carmen, an UZ Leuven patient: “Thanks to the pilot project at UZ Leuven I have been receiving Herceptin® at home for some years now. It is really nice not to have to go to the hospital, you're really more at ease at home. As a patient it is of course important that care at home is the same as in the hospital while at the same time still having the follow-up moments and keeping in touch with the hospital.”
For more details we await the final legal text. Read more about it on www.uzleuven.be/oncothuis