Objective: Providing quality care to the elderly is an increasingly challenging prospect for clinicians. The purpose of this study is to determine if home visits to the elderly are economically feasible and if there is a resulting decrease in hospitalizations.
Methods: This study is a retrospective chart review of 59 patients ages 60-97 for preventable hospitalizations over a 6 month period from 11100 to 4/01 with a comparison" study of these same patients after 3 months of home visits.
Results: The economic analysis indicated that home visits are feasible. The number of "preventable hospitalizations" for the 6-month retrospective period was 4. During the 3-month study period 2 "preventable hospitalizations" were recorded, yielding the same rate of hospitalizations.
Conclusions: This study did not demonstrate that home visits reduced "preventable hospitalizations". It did show that it is economically feasible to conduct home visits. In addition, during the course of the study it became apparent that patients felt the visits were helpful and the level of care was improved. With home visits patients were encouraged to complete their treatment plan, which increased compliance regarding exercise. Previously undiagnosed complaints were revealed in talking with patients and treatment prescribed. Caregivers found home visits helpful as they became involved in the patients health plan and were able get answers for questions they had. It was also found that relatives of patients had an enhanced perception of the local health care system. It is for these reasons that home visits should be incorporated into the medical services offered in Burns.
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