What Is Primary Care at Home – 2024 Guide
Many of us take the ability to leave home to receive the care we need for granted. Not everyone can comfortably and safely leave home to receive care due to their health conditions. When a person is unable to leave their home to receive treatment, they can utilize primary care at home. Much like the name suggests, home-based primary care is medical care administered within the patient’s home. Primary care at home is similar to a house call.
This is a complicated and helpful part of the medical field that aims to help patients live comfortably without the trauma and work of traveling to the hospital every day or every week.
Primary care at home is an extremely valuable service for those who require it, so it’s important that more people understand how it works and who can benefit from it. Here’s some information about what this type of health care can do for patients and who needs it the most.
What Is Offered?
Since all patients are different, the services they need from medical professionals varies.
There is no standard for what a PCH program offers, but some basics help build up the foundation for this type of care that you can click here to learn more details about. A physician, physical therapist, or other medical professionals must be willing to travel to patient homes and administer whatever treatment or examination is necessary.
In addition to medical professionals like physicians and nurses traveling to a patient’s home to offer medical care, other professionals, like social workers and pharmacists, might also be necessary. This can change patient to patient, but it’s the most vital for those who can’t or won’t leave their homes.
Is This Only For Bedridden Patients?
When some think of primary care at home, they might assume that the receivers of this type of care are unable to get out of bed. While this can be true of some of the patients of this service, it doesn’t reflect everyone who requires at home care. Most patients who need primary care at home aren’t bedridden. However, even if a person isn’t bedridden, it doesn’t mean that leaving the house is an option for them. Usually, if a patient needs this type of care, it’s because of an inability to get to a hospital as often as necessary.
Those who are suffering from chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses need frequent care, and going to and from medical treatment isn’t possible for some. This can be because of a disease that makes them stay in bed, but it can also stem from their caretaker being unable to drive, or the patient is at high risk of infection if they go to a hospital. Some programs require that patients are immobile, but most don’t make that necessary.
Bedridden patients obviously can get the most out of this type of program, though, because of the ability to have a professional come to them instead. Some patients are only able to leave their homes if an ambulance is taking them. Patients like this often need more medical attention, which means that they could be staring down and going through multiple ambulance rides in a month.
Primary care saves them from this trouble and gives them the chance to live their life comfortably and safely.
Do Patients Like This Care?
While primary care at home is an important service to help people meet their medical needs, it’s also important that those receiving this care like it. Many people don’t consider inpatient care for homebound individuals whether or not they want this type of care. We all deserve to have care that we feel comfortable with, so the opinion of individuals who need at-home care is extremely important.
Being unable to leave home often and needing medical care can be stressful, so the support and care needed for these individuals should help provide some relief. Luckily, most who need this care are more than willing to accept it. A medical professional can quickly come into one of these patients’ homes, but some patients can become distrustful and wary of the system. For these patients, having a medical professional who comes directly to them, who can work to reestablish this person’s trust, can make a massive change in how this patient gets care.
Can Doctors Do Everything Necessary With Primary Care At Home?
House calls have existed in the medical field for decades, and while they’ve become less common overall, at-home care is still an essential service for some patients today.
Fortunately, there’s a lot that medical professionals can do today to provide at-home care.
Different technologies that have been developed over recent years make it much easier for medical professionals to offer various services within their patients’ homes. Of course, receiving medical care at home does come with limitations, and there’s only so much equipment that medical professionals can bring with them. Although they can’t carry out an entire lab and MRI machine with every visit, some devices can replicate what tools are necessary for treatment.
If an extensive test or surgery is needed, the patient can, of course, be taken to the hospital, but for most appointments staying home is safe and a better choice. For smaller, routine work that doesn’t require large equipment, at-home services are doable for many medical professionals.
No one should have to go without the medical care they need because they’re unable to leave home for whatever reason. Needing homebound medical care isn’t the worst thing anymore. Doctors and other medical professionals understand the necessity of it and are quick to offer their services. Without solutions like this available, many would have no choice but to forgo the medical treatment they desperately need. Patients might go without important treatments, or existing health problems could go undetected if they don’t see a medical professional often enough. If you or a loved one struggles with leaving the house to attend doctor’s appointments or other necessary medical help, primary care at home might be an option for you.