For example, a Tawam Hospital female patient for 19 years suffers from a debilitating, metabolic disorder called mucopolysaccharidosis. The disorder means that she needs weekly intravenous (IV) infusions of a much needed enzyme for her body. Administering the IV takes many hours and requires the patient to spend one night each week in the hospital.
This process takes its toll on her as she needs to be transported by ambulance to and from the hospital in order to receive her treatment, and has to spend 52 nights a year away from her family. The disease affects her whole body, particularly her bones, confining her to bed all the time as she cannot walk or sit comfortably on her own.
Together with the Tawam Paediatrics Department, its nurses, as well as the clinical pharmacist, Tawam Hospital has now provided a mini-home infusion pump called ‘Mini Rhythm’ for her, which enables the administration of the enzyme at her convenience and in her own home. Dedicated nurses visit the patient to administer the enzyme and the precise coordination of the pharmacy enables the timely delivery of the medication to her address.
With care available at her home, she now visits Tawam for a check up once every six months as opposed to her prior weekly trips to the hospital. Despite the limitations of her movement, she enjoys a better quality of life and no longer spends days and nights in the hospital.
Dr. Jozef Hertecant, Consultant Pediatrician at Tawam Hospital, said, “It is quite a breakthrough in patient care to be able to extend treatment at home. This is thanks to our committed and dedicated home discharge team and the nurses at the Paediatrics Department. The new mobile treatment also paves the way for Tawam Hospital to give the same dedicated care to other patients suffering from the same disease. This is just the beginning.” Marianna Van Taak, Head Nurse, Paediatrics Department, said, “We are committed to providing the best possible care and improvements in quality of life for our patients. The home care we now provide to this patient, and soon to other patients suffering from the same metabolic disorder, is just one tangible example of us finding new ways of working to make our patients’ lives better. We have trained nurses to handle the care of patients like her who go beyond the hospital and clinics to visit homes and administer care, support and medication.” Working closely with the Paediatrics Department, pharmacists also met with the patient’s family to discuss the preparation, collection, and transportation of her medication from the pharmacy to her home every week.
Tawam Hospital is part of the SEHA Health System and is owned and operated by SEHA which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.