A new KKH@Home programme at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) is enabling patients with common conditions to receive hospital-level care in the comfort of their home.

Launched in April 2023, the programme is offered to clinically stable patients who would otherwise be warded in the hospital. Under KKH@Home, patients receive round-the-clock clinical care at home through teleconsultations and home visits by a medical team, until they are assessed to be fit for discharge.

Utilising medical technology, the KKH@Home team can deliver routine care through wearable devices for remote, real-time monitoring of vital signs. They can also closely monitor, identify and respond to the needs of patients as young as infants.

Better comfort and privacy for children and women patients

This home-based model of care is proving to be particularly beneficial for children and women patients.

Said Associate Professor Mark Koh, Clinician Lead for KKH@Home, “Hospitalisation can cause fear, anxiety and stress in young children. These can be greatly reduced when the child is able to recover in a familiar environment under the care of their own parents. The privacy and comfort afforded by KKH@Home can also help women patients with gynaecological conditions feel more at ease during their treatment and recovery.”

“Caregivers have shared that KKH@Home has brought greater convenience and less disruptions to their busy working schedules. They also feel empowered to take charge of and play an active role in the recovery and care of their loved ones,” added Assoc Prof Koh.

“This is a first step towards fundamentally transforming healthcare, where we rethink where and how patients can be nursed back to health.”

To date, more than 40 children and women have been enrolled in KKH@Home. These include children with common conditions such as dengue fever, cellulitis, neonatal jaundice, urinary tract infection and skin conditions such as eczema; and women with gynaecological conditions and skin and wound infections such as cellulitis. Patients on prolonged intravenous antibiotics have also been admitted under the programme.

How does KKH@Home work?
  • Home-based care under KKH@Home is similar to in-hospital care, which could include vital signs monitoring, intravenous medication and blood tests.
  • Patients and their families receive regular teleconsultations and home visitations by the care team to assess their health, as well as counselling and briefing on how to conduct simple care procedures at home.
  • Care escalation protocols are established to promptly assess and address the patient’s clinical needs in the community or transfer the patient back to the hospital for acute tertiary care.

Caregivers receiving counselling and briefing on conducting remote vital signs monitoring at home.

Transforming Singapore’s models of care for better long-term health

KKH@Home is part of Mobile Inpatient Care-at-Home (MIC@Home), a sandbox pilot programme by the Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT). Commissioned by the Ministry of Health, this sandbox was first launched at hospitals under the National University Health System, Singapore General Hospital and Yishun Health under Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in April 2022.

MIC@Home has been expanded to four more hospitals since April 2023, namely Changi General Hospital, KKH, Sengkang General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. KKH is the only site with a dedicated specialist programme for women and children.