As diagnostic tools and equipment became a necessity in medicine, we moved away from house calls in favor of equipped facilities. Today, technology has advanced enough to make house calls possible again.
How Has Technology Impacted House Calls?
The equipment and tools that were once permanent fixtures in hospitals and doctor’s offices are now portable and possible to use just about anywhere. Home-based primary care (HBPC) is possible with a range of diagnostic technology, like x-ray equipment, ultrasound machines and much more. With portable centrifuges that plug into car lighters, HBPC providers can even obtain results for blood tests while visiting a patient.
In addition to these critical diagnostic tools, smartphone apps and electronic health records (EHRs) can connect doctors to patients for improved quality of care. These increased capabilities make medical attention more accessible to various groups of people and can improve care outcomes.
Technology and house calls are clearly intertwined, and they complement the increase in Medicare fee-for-service payments and the aging population. Medicine can now reach new heights with advanced care house calls supported by portable medical technology.
How Is Technology Used During House Calls?
Advanced care house calls can encompass a range of technology and equipment to provide care. Knowing what equipment a doctor may use can also help you understand what type of diagnoses and treatments are available from the comfort of your home.
X-rays can examine most parts of the body, and they can reveal health conditions such as:
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Non-cancerous and cancerous tumors
- Heart problems
- Lung issues
- Dysphagia, or swallowing problems
Once your physician can identify any of the above issues, they can determine the next steps for your care plan. Broken bones will likely require a cast, while heart or lung issues may result in medications, active monitoring or surgeries.
Ultrasounds are most commonly used to monitor a pregnancy. If you have a high-risk pregnancy or can’t find time for your regular appointments, at-home ultrasounds may be right for you. In addition to pregnancy, ultrasounds can assess:
- Blood vessels
Blood work is routine testing for most individuals, especially as you become older. Monitoring blood contents can give a doctor various information about your health, such as:
- Cholesterol levels
- Thyroid deficiencies
- Blood glucose levels
- Certain cancers
These factors may reveal a need for medication — like in the case of a thyroid deficiency — or certain lifestyle changes. Being at risk for diabetes or high cholesterol may point to changes in diet or exercise, while a diabetes diagnosis will require regular blood sugar monitoring. Cancer diagnoses will likely require more involved treatment.
Vision testing, first and foremost, can reveal a need for vision correction. The need for glasses or contacts can occur at any age, so having this testing available at home is convenient for everyone. In addition to vision correction, this testing can reveal:
- Retinal disorders
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
Cloud-Based Electronic Medical Records
Cloud-based EHRs are critical to modern medicine. These systems allow physicians to access all relevant patient information from their preferred devices, from laptops and tablets to smartphones. These records also bridge the gap between different providers. For example, if a phlebotomist completes blood work, your doctor can see your results.
With this communication, your home-based care providers can more effectively address your needs, even if you’re not in the office.
The Benefits of Urgent and Emergent Care House Calls
HBPC can offer several benefits to a wide range of people. This type of care is:
- Efficient: When you visit your primary care doctor in their office, you often have to wait for some time before even making contact with your physician. From interactions with the front desk to nurses taking vitals, the whole process may feel highly inefficient. With a house call, you’re face to face with your doctor the moment you answer the door, and your physician gets straight to your care.
- Personal: The bustle of a primary care office can make your care needs feel like an afterthought. With HBPC, you have personalized, one-on-one care with your doctor, and you’re the only patient to see. This more personal approach to medicine can improve the quality of care and make you feel seen and heard by your healthcare provider.
- Convenient: Making a trip to the closest primary care physician may not be the easiest task. When you have a busy schedule, making time for an appointment can be a challenge. If you live in a more remote location, your appointments could take a few hours with travel time. With house call innovations, your doctor comes to you — saving time and offering ultimate convenience.
- Comfortable: Your home is where you feel most at ease, and it can make medical needs feel more comfortable than they would in a hospital or doctor’s office setting. Whether you need frequent care or you’re happier at home, on-demand house calls can be an excellent option for you.
How Can You Benefit From Medical House Calls?
Access to on-demand house calls can be an ideal solution to the inconveniences of visiting the doctor for many people:
- Location: If you live far from local medical clinics or lack access to transportation, house calls provide the support you need at home.
- Schedule: Those living busy lives with packed work schedules or small children at home may not have time to spare for a doctor’s appointment away from home. Your house-based care physician can give you the attention you need without blocking out hours in a day for an appointment.
- Frequency of care: People who are immuno-suppressed or living with chronic conditions often need more physician attention. Rather than making weekly trips to the doctor’s office, your physician can come to you. Older adults with more care needs can also benefit from home-based care for this reason.
- Home-bound lifestyles: A home-bound lifestyle can be a result of many factors. The inability to drive, severe chronic illnesses and different disabilities may lead to life at home, but these factors should not keep you from the care you deserve. House calls with a trusted physician offer the attention you need with ease.
Experience Access to On-Demand House Calls With Sollis Health
Sollis Health is where medicine meets hospitality. As part of our concierge medical services, we offer house calls to our members. With ultimate convenience, personalization and comfort, you can enjoy improved quality of care for every health need. Learn more about our membership and contact us for more information.