HouseCalls: Enabling the Art of Medicine
So what is it like to make House Calls for RemedyNow? It is actually a great experience as a provider. Visiting and meeting the patient at their home or their office is a much more genuine experience than seeing them in a clinical setting. They are waiting to see you in the comfort of their home and not sitting in a waiting room or on a table in a hospital gown expecting me to come in for a brief visit after a long wait.
House calls were once the norm for medical care. In 1930 40% of patients were seen by health care providers in their home. By 1980 only 1% of patient visits were house calls. (AFP 2011, Apr 15, 83. 925-31) Some people today can still remember being visited by their doctor in their home as a child. Over the years more patients were admitted to hospitals for their care due to technology, antiseptic environments, and efficiency to provide 24 hour medical and nursing care. Physicians then opened clinics to see a greater number of their patients in a shorter period of time in a convenient location. This transition from providing care in the home to clinics and hospitals helps to explain how the art of medicine has evolved into the business of medicine.
There are many advantages of returning to the house call model. For the patient, it is convenient for a provider to come to their home. For example, the busy executive or a mom with a sick child who doesn’t have time in her/his day to go to a clinic can appreciate having someone come to their home during day and evening hours to treat them for either their urgent care or primary care needs. If someone is visually or physically impaired, doesn’t drive, has transportation issues, or the weather is inclement, the convenience of having a provider come to your home is immeasurable. It can also save them hundreds of dollars versus a traditional Urgent Care or going to an Emergency Room after regular office hours.
For the health care provider, coming to someone’s home is an experience that is out of one’s professional comfort zone at first. Seeing patients in an office with a medical staff and working in rooms that are organized with supplies and having treatment space is much more familiar than a patient’s home. However, sitting on a patient’s couch listening to their medical history is much more personal and focused than being in an office. Seeing the location and conditions in which someone lives in can provide a tremendous amount of insight and understanding into a patient’s health environment. And, we can treat almost anything in home that we can in an office.
Having a video visit also allows for a one on one encounter that can be used for an initial visit or follow up visit. When appropriate, the video visit also provides convenience and communication between the patient and the provider in an effective and efficient manner.
By having a holistic approach while inviting the patient to be a participant rather than a recipient in their overall health care, RemedyNow is bringing back the art of medicine.
Joan Kiely is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with 34 years of nursing experience. Joan received her Master’s in Nursing / Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgetown University and has extensive experience in Women’s Health Care. In the past, Joan was an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania for the Family Nurse Practitioner program. She loves fitness, running, reading, travel and spending time with her husband and two children. To read more about the RemedyNow providers visit www.RemedyNow.net