Physicians are so busy treating patients, keeping up with the newest pharmacological agents and procedures that they oftentimes do not realize that one of the best orders they can give some of their patients is an order for home care.
Dr. Alan Goldblatt writes:
With the collaborative effort of the highly ethical healthcare organizations in our community, all things are possible. The disparate and at times competitive models of academic medicine, private practice in an era of dwindling resources cannot be sustained. Optimal care strategies for the elderly will require attention to the inevitable transitions with declining functional capacity as we age. The Medical Home Model deserves greater attention. With that home care becomes a crucial part of our armamentarium.
Physicians who order home care for elderly patients that are homebound add an extra team member to assess, observe, and treat their patients to assure a greater quality of care, better outcomes to problems, and cost effectiveness through decreasing hospitalizations.
So why don’t physicians order home care more often?
- We have failed to market properly the benefits of home care to their patients but have only tried to sell our agencies
- Home care is not always the first or even second order a physician thinks about when treating patients
- Patients and families are uninformed about home care and the benefits it can bring to restoring or preventing further decline to health
Home care agencies can be a vital team member to a physician’s practice but only if they use it!