Innovative Health Care Models Prove Cost-Effective Amidst Pandemic Pressures
By Danélia Botes
September 26, 2023
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals faced immense pressure. Singapore was also grappling with a dengue outbreak, adding to the strain on hospital capacity. This situation led to the rapid implementation of novel care models to treat patients with acute, low-severity medical conditions. Two of these models, the hospital-at-home (HaH) and ambulatory care team (ACT) models, were used to treat patients with dengue and chest pain respectively. The HaH model allowed patients to receive care at home, while the ACT model provided timely care in a clinic-style setting at the hospital’s emergency department. An economic evaluation aimed to compare the personnel cost of these models with conventional hospital inpatient care. The results showed that the HaH and ACT models used less personnel time, resulting in reduced costs. The HaH model for treating dengue was found to be slightly cheaper than conventional care, with estimated savings of 18 SGD per case. The ACT model for treating chest pain showed more significant savings, with an estimated reduction of 126 SGD per case. These innovative health care models not only alleviate hospital pressure but also potentially reduce hospital-acquired infections, length of stay, and overall health care expenditure. However, a reliable cost analysis of these models remains a priority.
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