The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how important it is that we adapt to provide essential services without endangering high-risk individuals or essential workers.
For healthcare, the winning solution has been telehealth or telemedicine, however while this technology has been vital in helping individuals obtain a convenient virtual diagnosis without leaving home, it’s not without its limitations.
That’s where a health “house call” service can help, explains Valerie Rose, CEM, with Seattle Dispatch Health.
A house call offers the same convenience of telemedicine but specializes in supplying acute medical treatment for situations requiring or benefiting from in-person consultation and medical assistance.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine uses video chat, private chat rooms and other telecommunication technologies to provide remote clinical services. Providing a convenient alternative to facility-based healthcare, it’s become a staple during the pandemic, helping those with minor medical concerns receive prompt care without exposure to shared, public spaces.
During COVID-19, this switch to virtual healthcare by telephone or video chat has played a pivotal role in how medical care is delivered. It’s convenient for both doctors and patients and helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. But this healthcare service also has its limitations, especially for those without smartphones, high-speed internet, or technical know-how.
This digital divide is even more prevalent in geriatric healthcare, where patients can have difficulty operating video conferences and explaining their condition over the phone. Since those at higher risk of contracting coronavirus tend to be seniors over age 65, having an in-person alternative to telemedicine that can still offer the advantages of at-home care is essential.
When is a House Call More Appropriate?
In addition to offering the convenience of telemedicine to those without access to the technology, house calls are also a more appropriate option for medical care in the following situations:
- Higher-acuity healthcare needs. DispatchHealth’s house calls can improve patient outcomes in higher-acuity situations that may require hands-on care to ensure timely treatment.
- Medical care for those individuals with a chronic mental health condition. Social anxieties, Alzheimer’s, dementia and other chronic mental health conditions can create communication barriers in a virtual setting, making house calls the better option for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
- Pediatric and geriatric medical care. High-touch, in-person care for pediatric and geriatric medical needs can help ensure diagnosis accuracy, as children and seniors often have difficulty voicing and explaining their medical situations.
DispatchHealth’s medical teams can address a wide range of minor to acute healthcare needs without sacrificing in-person interactions. Hands-on processes are augmented by industry-best physician practices and including protocols and protective gear to ensure safe care and treatment for both our teams and patients.
Requesting care is as easy as contacting us via phone at