Emergency Home Visits by Family Doctors During the Day and During the Night
Vergleich in einer südbadischen Landarztpraxisgerman translation / full article
A Comparative Analysis in a Rural Family Practice
Background: To answer the question whether there are differences between organized night and day home visits. I performed a comparative analysis in my own family practice.
Methods: All emergency calls categorized as urgently requested home visits, were consecutively documented and analysed for a period of nine months. The documentation included the identity of the caller, gender, age, diagnosis of the patients as well as duration of the visit, hospitalization, influences by the circumstances of the visits as well as disturbing factors.
Results: Of the 40 documented emergency home visits, 15 were to patients who belong to the own practice and 25 to patients of other family doctors (FD). 23 persons were sent to hospital. Hospitalization occurred more frequently during the day than during the night. Emergency calls came mainly from relatives of the patients. During the day, the most often given diagnosis were cardiovascular diseases (ICD: I51), at night abdominal diseases (incl. urological problems) (ICD: R10). The average duration of the home visit was slightly shorter during the day (23.3 min.) than during the night (26.7 min.). Disturbing factors during the day were noise; at night malodor. In the same period 187 so called routine home visits were conducted for patients of the own practice.
Conclusion: Emergency home visits, especially at night, were a special challenge due to external disturbing factors and shame in face of an often unknown patient.