A recent Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study found that home-based primary care increased patients’ satisfaction with care and lowered costs, hospitalization rates, and emergency room visits. Following up on the study, The Washington Post published an article that explored how many doctors are now pushing for house calls to bring care to chronically ill patients.
Judah Ronch, dean of the Erickson School, was quoted in the article and outlined the various advantages of home-based care. “If they’re at home, they’re in an environment that can expedite healing, for example, more natural light,” said Ronch, a nationally renowned expert on improving the treatment and mental well-being of elders. Being at home also helps patients see themselves as “not a sick person,” he said.
Not all primary care facilities would qualify for home-based care due to specialized skills and the need to employ and partner with nurse practitioners and social workers. But Ronch also described how health care can be effective, even in the absence of a facility such as a hospital or nursing home.
“Many old people in hospitals don’t need to be there,” he said. “It’s not about serving the needs of the institution, but serving the needs of the people. It’s the idea that we can deconstruct the health-care system and reconstruct it to serve the patient in a way that’s fiscally and medically better.”
Read “Doctors prescribe old-fashioned house calls when treating the old and frail” in the Washington Post. Read more about Ronch’s research on the Erickson School website.
Image: Erickson School Dean Judah Ronch speaks at an event at UMBC. Photo by Marlayna Demond’ 11 for UMBC.