Home hospitalization: a winning trend

  • Trends
  • Sector
    Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Countries

Health is essential. It is important for the entire society, with a high individual but also collective impact, especially due to the financial consequences that health costs generate at the level of the State and companies.

Being efficient and effective, acting more in prevention to be able to act less in treatment, are universal maxims. Resources are limited, the capacity of professionals and the physical capacity of health units are not scalable quickly enough, so the search for alternatives to the traditional way of approaching health is very necessary.

In this sense, technology has allowed an evolution in healthcare provision and the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in improving the care and services provided. But there are other trends that deserve to be highlighted, such as Home Hospitalization.

Portugal is the oldest country in Europe. In the next 30 years, the percentage of people over 65 years old will increase from 22% (2023) to 37% and the fashion era will go from 43 to 74 years old. This evolution will pose numerous challenges to respond to the health needs of the population, since health care consumption increases progressively with age, occupying more capacity and generating greater expenses, particularly in differentiated care, surgeries and hospitalizations. In this context, Home Hospitalization has become an unavoidable trend.

Home Hospitalization is a hospital care service that integrates home monitoring and medical, nursing and other health professional intervention, providing care equal to that which would be provided in a hospital environment, but in the comfort of the patient’s home.

In the National Health System of Portugal, in 2023, around 10 thousand patients were hospitalized at home, which represents an increase of 12% compared to 2022. In the field of private care, CUF is currently the only provider in the country that performs home hospitalization, having hospitalized more than 500 patients at home in 2023, with 43 “virtual beds”. Although a large percentage of these patients are elderly, any patient of any age can benefit from this service, as long as they meet the clinical eligibility criteria.

The range of services is quite wide: in addition to daily follow-up visits (often with 2 or 3 visits a day) by doctors and nurses, it can include actions as diverse as the administration of intravenous medication, dressings, collection of tests and other exams. It is also possible to benefit from intravenous oncology treatments at home, dental treatments, neonatal monitoring, among others, from the perspective of other complementary services at home, even if the patient is not hospitalized.

The objective of Home Hospitalization is to provide a differentiated service with high clinical rigor, centered on the patient, allowing on the one hand a greater humanization of the treatment but also allowing the avoidance of complications inherent to conventional hospitalization, such as hospital infections. Combining clinical rigor and safety with the unequivocal comfort of being at home is a very advantageous framework with a very important psychological impact for patients.

The possibility of admitting patients at home has other advantages, such as reducing the average stay, greater patient autonomy in managing the disease and, very importantly, expanding the capacity of hospitals to respond to a population that is usually more prone to hospitalization.

Home Hospitalization is a winning trend, with proven benefits for the client, with lower costs and escalation of the offer, maintaining the quality and clinical safety of the patient.


Ana Allen Lima

Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at CUF – Hospitais e Clínicas.