Standardization of home healthcare to benefit the aged

New Delhi: The Quality and Accreditation Institute (QAI) on Saturday said it has set benchmarks for the home healthcare industry, to open doors for respectable players and medical insurers thereby benefiting a large section of the country’s ageing population.

“The home healthcare industry is ready to witness a revolution with introduction of standardization,” said QAI, an institutional member of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), which is a non-profit organization with members in over 100 countries.

“With set benchmarks, patients looking for home healthcare will now have accredited players to choose from. Health insurance companies are bound to to include home healthcare in a bigger way, thus, making it a more affordable solution for patients,” QAI said in a statement.

The need of home healthcare solutions in India is high owing to a growing geriatric population, increasing incidence of chronic diseases, rising demand for affordable healthcare delivery systems and shortage of hospitals beds.

Though the home healthcare industry is merely $6.21 billion, which is 2 per cent of the total Indian healthcare market, it is likely to become an integral part of the healthcare ecosystem with an average growth rate of 18 per cent.

“The major challenge it faces is from the unorganized sector because of which perception is limited to manservants or maids with no medical experience,” said QAI.

Gaurav Thukral, COO of HealthCare at HOME and chairperson of the QAI’s technical committee for drafting home healthcare accreditation standards said: “It is imminent to regulate this sector to ensure highest standards of care for our patients.”

Other members of the technical committee are Swetha Tada (Apollo Homecare), Ipshita Dey (Portea), Sudhakar Mairpadi (Philips Homecare), Arkaprabha Bhattacharya (Philips Homecare), Bridget Harison (HCAH) and Mahesh Joshi (Apollo Homecare).

B.K. Rana, CEO of the Quality and Accreditation Institute said: “At QAI, our objective is to bring self-regulation through standardization in all sectors of the healthcare industry.”

The standards comprise of 9 chapters, 69 standards and 278 criteria.