Home Visits

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2019.0066-0069

german translation / full article

Jost Steinhäuser, Susanne Rabady

Keywords: family medicine home visit postgraduate training

Background: Home visits are a classical part of family physicians tasks. They can provide additional information about the patient and his living conditions (“experienced anamnesis”) as well as about health care needs (e.g. medical equipment needed). Aim of this publication was to describe relevant aspects of performing home visits.Search method: Pragmatic search (no limit of language or publication date) with the terms “home visit“ OR “house calls“ AND “general practitioner“ AND “Germany“ in the data bank PubMed supplemented by a search in the online archive of the German Journal of Family Medicine with the term „Hausbesuch“ (home visit).Main messages: Most important aspects needed for adequate performance of home visits are medical decision making (e.g. hospital referral yes or no), organizational aspects (e.g. who decides about the urgency of the home visit) and safety (e.g. handling of animals). The equipment needed will depend on the region (city or rural remote areas) and on the individual experience of the physician. A sufficient source of light will be needed in any case.Conclusions: Home visits remain an important component of family doctors’ routine with a huge variety of aspects that needed to be thought of. Therefore planning, organization and performing of home visits should be learned in a structured way.

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