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What are House Calls?

A house call is a visit made by a doctor or a healthcare provider to the patient’s house for the purpose of evaluating, diagnosing, and treating the patient. House calls offer the doctor a perspective on the patient’s overall health and wellbeing, living conditions, and social support system, which may not be otherwise obtained by a hospital or office visit.

Factors Influencing the Revival of House Calls

About a century ago, house calls accounted for nearly 40% of all doctor visits and they are currently becoming popular again due to an aging population and mobile technology that allows delivery of healthcare services at the point of care.

Benefits of House Calls

The important benefits of house calls include:

  • Avoids problems associated with transportation
  • Provides care in the comfort of home
  • Enables better patient and family or caregiver education
  • Avoids waiting at the doctor’s office
  • Avoids exposure to other sick patients
  • Provides care for all ages including elderly and bedridden patients
  • Establishes a more intimate relationship with the healthcare provider
  • Provides a better understanding of the challenges faced by the patient
  • Ensures personalized treatment planning
  • Improves treatment outcomes
  • Helps keep the patient out of the ER or hospital

House Call Services

The wide range of medical services that can be provided include:

  • Primary care
  • Specialist consultation
  • Follow-up care
  • Wound care
  • Diabetic counseling
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medical management
  • Transitional care
  • Dementia care
  • Palliative care

What to expect from a House Call?

After booking a house call either by phone or online, you should ensure you are at home at the time of the appointment. The doctor or healthcare provider will visit you and discuss your symptoms, review your medical history, and perform a physical examination. Certain tests, such as blood tests may also be done to detect any medical conditions. Based on the results, further diagnostic tests may be ordered, or medications may be prescribed, diet and lifestyle modifications recommended, or other specialized treatments provided.

Candidates for House Calls

Ideal candidates for house calls are patients with:

  • Mobility issues due to injury or disability
  • Unreliable transportation facilities
  • Visibility problems that prevent them from driving
  • Multiple chronic medical conditions
  • Mental health problems
  • Busy work schedules