The Hospital Universitario de Getafe is a public hospital located in Getafe, a city in the Community of Madrid, Spain. It is affiliated with the SERVICIO MADRILEÑO DE SALUD (Madrid Health Service), which is responsible for the administration and management of public healthcare in the region.
The hospital plays a crucial role in providing healthcare services to the local population, offering a range of medical specialties and facilities to meet the diverse healthcare needs of the community. It is equipped with 400 beds, providing general hospitalisation services to approximately 120,000 patients annually. The Surgical Services department performs around 13,000 procedures each year. The hospital also offers External Consultations, handling approximately 350,000 visits per year and the Emergency department attends to around 110,000 visits annually.
Currently, we attend to over 4000 patients in the pharmaceutical care consults of our hospital. Approximately 45% of these patients receive subcutaneous medications associated with 12 different disease programs, including arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, multiple sclerosis, asthma, growth deficiency, familial hypercholesterolemia, and more. We have experienced a yearly growth rate of 10% in this regard. However, this challenge extends beyond the hospital, impacting a larger population of patients facing similar difficulties in other healthcare facilities.
The challenge is to improve patient disease education and training for the self-administration of subcutaneous medication at home.
The ongoing development of biologic medications offers patients a broad range of subcutaneous treatment options for various diseases, such as arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, multiple sclerosis, asthma, growth deficiency, familial hypercholesterolemia, and more. This challenge affects a diverse population of patients with different social, personal, and clinical characteristics, particularly those with chronic degenerative conditions requiring long-term subcutaneous medication administration. In Spain, these medications are dispensed to patients from hospital pharmacy services for self-administration at home.
Currently, patient education and training for self-administration of subcutaneous medication is being conducted in the hospital by nurses and pharmacists through traditional methods such as verbal instructions, written materials, and demonstrations with training kits.
Despite receiving information about their disease and medication, it is important to take into account that when patients visit the hospital, they are often confronted with a multitude of information, such as medical diagnoses, treatment options, and instructions for follow-up care. This abundance of information is typically accompanied by distressing news, such as a serious medical condition or a complex treatment plan. This distressing news adds an emotional burden to an already overwhelming situation, making it even more difficult for patients to absorb and comprehend the information effectively, and patients may find it challenging to retain the details of their diagnosis, care and treatment instructions. As a result, when patients attempt to self-administer their medication without professional supervision at home, they may experience feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. Pharmacists cannot be completely sure that patients are administering their medication correctly at home.
The proposed solution is to create a gamified interactive digital environment for patient training and education at home. By leveraging interactive digital technology, patients can visualise a simulated environment that replicates real-life scenarios of medication self-administration. Through interactive features, patients can familiarise themselves with the process, learn proper techniques, and overcome any reservations or fears they may have. We aim to further reinforce their understanding of their disease, treatment and healthy practices and facilitate knowledge retention. Additionally, the digital environment enables patients to interact with healthcare professionals or other patients, exchanging information and receiving guidance. This accessibility and support can contribute to patients’ overall sense of empowerment and instill a greater sense of trust in their ability to manage their own healthcare and treatment from their homes.