Internet Plus brings nursing service to doorstep
CHANGSHA (Xinhua) -- Upon receiving the online application, Wu Xiujuan, a senior nurse in the hepatological surgery department, promptly embarked on a half-an-hour journey by electric scooter to deliver essential postoperative care at the residence of an 83-year-old patient grappling with hepatolithiasis.
"I've been providing door-to-door nursing for more than five years, serving convalescent patients, empty nesters, children and other people in need," said Wu, 39, who hails from Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.
The era of house calls for nurses is certainly here. In 2019, China rolled out a pilot program of "internet plus nursing service" in six provincial-level regions and extended the service to all provincial-level regions two years later.
Under the program, registered nurses from qualified medical institutions, after receiving online applications, would be sent to provide nursing services to people with mobility difficulties, such as disabled elderly, people discharged from hospitals and terminally ill patients, in their communities or homes.
"There are more than 200 nurses in our hospital, including Wu, who are providing in-home care services in Hunan and neighboring provinces," said Liu Jiao, head of the internet hospital of the Hunan provincial people's hospital.
According to Liu, in 2017, the hospital took the lead in the province to carry out the "internet plus nursing service," so that patients and their families can enjoy in-home care after making an appointment through the hospital's official WeChat account.
Currently, the hospital provides 37 home-based nursing services, covering vital areas such as respiratory care and cancer pain relief. In total, these services have been utilized an impressive 14,000 times, ensuring comprehensive and specialized care for patients in the comfort of their own homes.
"This approach frees seniors, individuals with disabilities, and those undergoing rehabilitation from time-consuming and tiring trips to hospitals and clinics," said Chen Hongjun, an official with the Hunan provincial health commission.
Statistics from the provincial health commission show that Hunan now boasts about 10,000 nurses providing door-to-door services. These dedicated professionals possess relevant qualification certificates, possess over five years of experience, and have undergone systematic training and assessment.
In 2021, the people's hospital of Hunan's Shimen County launched an Internet Plus nursing program, especially for the elderly and those with physical disabilities. A number of grassroots hospitals in the city of Liuyang in Hunan have also rolled out such programs, effectively bridging the gap in medical care services and offering comprehensive healthcare that encompasses prevention, treatment, and management for patients with chronic diseases.
"We will further improve and promote the door-to-door nursing services through online platforms to meet the needs of the public as far as possible," said Li Xiaosong, director of the Hunan provincial health commission.