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The Home Visit - Article

ABSTRACT: With the advent of effective home health programs, an increasing proportion of medical care is being delivered in patients' homes. Since the time before World War II, direct physician involvement in home health care has been minimal. However, patient preferences and key changes in the health care system are now creating an increased need for physician-conducted home visits. To conduct home visits effectively, physicians must acquire fundamental and well-defined attitudes, knowledge and skills in addition to an inexpensive set of portable equipment. "INHOMESSS" (standing for: immobility, nutrition, housing, others, medication, examination, safety, spirituality, services) is an easily remembered mnemonic that provides a framework for the evaluation of a patient's functional status and home environment. Expanded use of the telephone and telemedicine technology may allow busy physicians to conduct time-efficient "virtual" house calls that complement and sometimes replace in-person visits.

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