Thomas, 59

Thomas was admitted to the virtual ward during the fall where he was intravenously medicated with antibiotics to manage a urinary tract infection. Thomas has an extensive medical history, with several different diagnoses over the past nine years. For Thomas, receiving virtual care greatly improved his quality of life compared to previous illness episodes. Read the full story below.

Thomas was admitted to St. Göran's Hospital in the autumn of 2023 after a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. He had taken his medication the night before and woke up in the middle of the night feeling like a "kicked football." Recognizing the need for emergency care, he headed to the emergency department where he received adrenaline and cortisone, leading to the development of pulmonary thrombosis. Following admission to the Medical Clinic, it was determined that a 14-day intravenous antibiotic treatment was necessary to cure a urinary tract infection.

Thomas was disappointed upon hearing about the extended hospitalization, expressing concerns about an increased risk of infection due to his medical history and the hospital environment's impact on his health. Despite not feeling sick enough to be bedridden, he acknowledged the necessity of supervision given his unstable values and refrained from taking leave.

After completing the thrombosis treatment, the urinary tract infection treatment resumed. At this point, Thomas was offered the option to be transferred to the virtual ward with continued hospital care at home. A doctor and a nurse explained the virtual care process, and Thomas accepted the proposal. He was transported by hospital transport to his residence. Home treatment included daily testing of vital parameters, regular digital rounds, and visits from a nurse for intravenous antibiotic administration via a PICC line. Thomas appreciated the predictability of medical staff visits and the flexibility to adjust his schedule, unlike during his hospital stay.

"10 points on everything, I have an overwhelmingly positive experience with the virtual ward. All vital parameters were surprisingly easy to manage. The staff kept their appointments and were incredibly professional. This, in particular, created a strong sense of security for me."

Reflecting on his medical history, Thomas wishes he had the opportunity for home treatment earlier. He sees the value in implementing home health care, especially during periods of gastro-medical needs and the use of ostomy bags and tube feedings. Thomas believes it would save time for healthcare and increase comfort for the patient. He particularly emphasizes that the possibility of receiving visits from friends and family at home creates a more familiar and comfortable environment compared to a hospital ward.

"Just the feeling of being able to walk around barefoot without worrying about other people's bacteria. Escape different smells and noises from other patients. Being able to go out into the kitchen and eat the food you want. Get to meet family and friends who may come to visit. Stina, my dog, was like my own nurse, my Florence Nightingale."

Thomas concludes the conversation by sharing insights into how he believes virtual care can develop. He sees potential in introducing care to more patient groups, including gastro medicine. He is convinced that this form of care streamlines the healing process and promotes faster recovery. He also envisions the possibility of carrying out treatments at home during periods of increased risk of infection, such as during virus seasons.