For the very first time, international hospital at home (HaH) stakeholders met at the World Hospital at Home Congress (WHAHC), held in Madrid, 5-6 April 2019, to connect the HaH ecosystem beyond borders.

The World Hospital at Home Congress is a first-of-its-kind international platform to advance the HaH model, instituted by the Kenes Group Original Events team. The goal of the meeting is to provide all parties, from healthcare practitioner to policy makers, dedicated education and a place to showcase homecare best practices and technologies.

The inaugural edition of the congress gathered more than 400 participants from 40 countries. The interest in the event surpassed all expectations with over 200 speaking and abstract submissions. The prominent committee made of Dr Itamar Offer (Sabar Health, Israel), Prof. Bruce Allen Leff (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA), Dr Michael Montalto (Epworth HealthCare, Australia), and Dr Beatriz Massa (Spanish Society for Home Hospitalisation, Spain), accepted 45 oral presentations and 93 posters.

Among the session formats, there was a lot of interest in the one-on-one meetings, campfire discussions and the house of demonstrations – a set onsite that served to present different solutions for treating patients at home. There was also a session on the authentic experience of the participants that joined the Madrid HaH Tours – three groups visited respectively a hospital, a HaH unit, and a patient’s home to learn first-hand from Spain’s model. The delegates were delighted to meet the event mascot, a cat called Homey, who carries the power of healing from the inside out, while helping people feel calm and at home.

Prof. Bruce Allen Leff, co-chair of the event commented: “We talked a lot about the HaH community that this meeting has helped to build, but with this congress we became a tribe. A tribe is a group of people who are “your people” in a deeply meaningful way. We addressed the models, technology, scalability, and more but for what I am most pleased is what the future holds – HaH is a major culture change, and we will continue developing it beyond borders through more meetings and the dedicated WHAHC community space.

With packed two days, delivering nearly 24 hours of education, the next step for the World Hospital at Home Congress is to administer a dedicated community space. It will be used for data exchange and education, scalability and definition forums, and open discussions and information on policy, regulatory, logistics, and technology for HaH. The second WHAHC congress is already in planning and will be announced soon.