Medical house calls have become increasingly popular over the years as an alternative to traditional visits to a doctor’s office or urgent care centers. The concept of a medical practitioner visiting a patient seems outdated, but it’s beginning to be viewed as an option with many contemporary benefits.
Most importantly, medical house calls have been estimated to reduce hospitalization by 28% and unnecessary urgent care and emergency room visits by up to 71% (Source: ResearchAndMarkets. 2022).
The long, trusted history of Medical House Calls.
Let’s look at the history of medical house calls to understand better why this segment of medical care delivery is seeing a resurgence.
House calls have been an important part of medical care for centuries. In the 19th century, house calls became increasingly popular as doctors strived to provide more comprehensive and accessible healthcare services for their patients.
Doctors would travel by horse or carriage to visit people in their homes and villages, offering diagnosis, treatment advice, and basic treatments such as lancing boils or fixing broken bones.
During the 1950s, house calls were common practice until technological advances enabled hospitals to become better equipped with diagnostic tools that were not portable. Then starting in the 1960s, we see a definite shift toward hospital-based medicine. By the 1970s, medical house calls virtually disappeared.
Today’s Medical House Call Serves an Unmet Need.
Technology has again made medical house calls the preferred option for many because advances in portable testing kits, diagnostic tools, and medication make it efficient, convenient, and personal.
Here are the top reasons why medical house calls might benefit you.
- Medical house calls offer a level of comfort and convenience to the patient that is unparalleled compared to visiting a clinic, urgent care facility, or hospital. Home visits eliminate all stress and costs (i.e., parking or gas) of getting outside medical attention.
- The advantage of in-home care is especially important for people who are unable to leave their homes due to health, mobility, or transportation issues to access medical care.
- House calls also allow for more personalized care as doctors may have more time available when working with only one patient at a time and be able to provide tailored advice based on specific needs.
- House calls can be particularly beneficial for elderly patients who would otherwise find it difficult to attend an appointment due to mobility issues.
- Medical house calls limit the patient’s exposure to other diseases that might be found in a doctor’s office or urgent care center.
- Medical house calls provide fast treatment, which reduces travel time, wait times and provides more flexibility for the patient’s needs.
- House calls can provide continuity of care not available through other means, such as urgent care centers or telemedicine.
‘Ultimately, this kind of service allows people from all walks of life easier access to the quality healthcare they need without compromising personal comfort levels during their treatment journey.’
While the idea of a medical house calls may remind us of a bygone era, it is coming back in vogue due to its many advantages. Ultimately, medical care is best when it is personal, and nothing is more personal than an in-home medical house call.