PROS & CONS OF HOME VISITS - PATIENTS VS CLINICIANS
- Home Visit Network ContributorAugust 28, 2023
In allied health, the challenge is to meet the demand for services. Australia’s 195,000 allied health professionals
deliver an estimated 200 million health services annually. The allied health workforce is increasing rapidly as demand
grows across the aged care and disability sectors. To cater for an aging population many allied health professionals
prefer to provide direct health care services to patients in their own homes, providing high quality services which are
amongst the best in the world.
- No more making appointments
- No more waiting rooms
- No more driving loved ones across town
As with every choice in life, there are pros and cons for both the patient and their clinician. Fortunately, the pros far outweigh any previous challenges faced by either party. Today’s allied health providers can visit the homes of their
patients and provide high-quality care when it is needed.
Why Home Health Care is Necessary
When recovering from an injury or simply dealing with an aging body, keeping patients comfortable and feeling as
capable as possible is essential. For many, mobility restrictions drive patients in the direction of home-based care,
providing comfort and safety in familiar surroundings.
Allied Health professionals are trained and capable of helping patients and their loved ones learn more about the
types of exercises and treatments they need. They also help with making adjustments to accommodate changes in
mobility and health. Working with an allied health professional in the home helps patients become more confident
in their day to day activities. It also helps focus on the fact that what they are doing is based on a plan that was
created specifically for them – not for patients in general.
PROS of PATIENTS utilising home health care
1. No waiting times. On any given day, therapists may not be sure what services they’ll be performing, leading
to extended waiting times for their next patient. A home visit eliminates the inconvenience of not only travel
time, but unexpected waiting room blow outs.
2. Less Exposure to outside elements. Reducing the risk of coming into contact with seasonal diseases or Covid-
19. No need to sit in a waiting room social distancing, not knowing if others have been exposed to, or
infected with Covid-19, and are not yet symptomatic.
3. Family members are involved in care. When an allied health professional visits and treats a patient in their
home, others can be present. Instead of being surrounded by clinicians in a medical facility, patients know
that someone they explicitly trust can help to monitor the care being received.
4. One on one care is provided. Patients who receive home health care know that the professional they see is
focused entirely on them during each session.
5. Staying home is easier. For people with mobility issues, even getting to appointments can be a challenge.
6. In-home health care allows patients to practice immediately. Doing an exercise in a wide-open space is one
thing. Being able to utilise actual permanent surroundings is another thing entirely. By holding physical
therapy sessions in a patients home, the therapist is able to demonstrate exactly what patients can do in the
home for themselves, and how it should be done.
7. Cost effective. Home health care is recognised by most health providers as being more cost effective than
traditional inpatient care, when comparing average payments across setting such as skilled nursing facilities,
inpatient residential facilities, and long-term care hospitals.
8. Modern Technology. Dedicated websites give you access to all local in home services. Eftpos payments and
Medicare rebates are all available via mobile phone apps.
CONS of PATIENTS utilising home health care
1. Increased stress levels. Home is where a person should feel most comfortable. Sometimes having an outside
influence enter it can cause people to feel uncomfortable and as if they are losing their independence. To
overcome this, it’s important to remind patients that while they do in fact have people coming into their
home, this is being done in order to ensure that they can remain at home for as long as possible.
2. The environment won’t be as structured as it would be in a facility. Sometimes home health care takes
away the ability for the therapist to utilise all available tools. For example, equipment that won’t fit into a
car, requiring a more thoughtful way to structure the sessions to meet needs.
3. A patient’s conditions or needs may not be met with what is available in the home. What works for one
individual may not work for another. One common solution is to commence treatment outside of the home
and when the condition has improved, re-evaluate and assess if home care has become a viable option.
PROS of CLINICIANS utilising home health care
1. Self-employment opportunities. Work when you want… Part time, full time, weekends,
Work around your normal hours of employment and build up your personal patient base. Take time off for
the school pick up, school holidays, personal time, even holidays.
2. No down time. Unlike a clinical situation with gaps between appointments or “no shows”, all your patients
are at home and therefore flexible when you attend.
3. Small overheads. None of the necessary overheads running a clinic… No rent, no electricity, no staff, no
4. Virtual office. Book appointments, access and write medical notes, online accounting, submit Medicare/DVA
claims, promote your services on social media, all without having to pay staff.
5. Mobile phone banking. Instant payment through Tap and Go using phone apps, send and receive faxes, and
perhaps, best of all… Google maps!
CONS of CLINICIAN’S utilising home health care
1. Longer visits. Compared to the clinical environment, care for patients at home requires longer visits. Home-
based care practitioners see, on average, just five to seven patients a day.
2. Clinical safety. There are specific risks to clinician’s safety in the home setting. These include: environmental
hazards such as infection control, sanitation, and physical layout. Difficulty of balancing patient autonomy
and risk, and the different needs of patients receiving home based care. Clinicians are understandably
disinclined to visit homes in areas with high rates of crime. Some mobile apps provide access to immediate
emergency response through a “panic button” used by home-based care teams.
3. Lack of supporting infrastructure. There should be clear inclusion and exclusion criteria to assess the
suitability of a home-based solution. Medical schools must prepare the next generation of health providers
for the inevitable shift from hospital to home by integrating home-based care into required curriculum and
training. Some programs are already taking this step. For example, the John Hopkins University School of
Medicine in the USA significantly increased residents’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant to home-base
care. Such programs can address the shortage of allied health carers trained in home-based care and fill the
gaps in medical education about caring for frail and vulnerable patients.
Staying at Home or Home Alone?
Many seniors prefer to remain in their own home for as long as possible, They don’t see themselves as needing
support or assistance, even if they do struggle more than they used to. Whether your loved one is at home by
circumstance or choice, you worry about their health and safety. Even the most independent seniors may have a bit
of trouble getting around as the body slows down. The fact remains: Most older people could use a helping hand. If
you have a loved one you’re caring for or concerned about, the Home Visit Network’s directory of in-home services
is a great solution.
Home Visit Network, your local directory of mobile Allied Health Services
We started with a simple purpose: to help you take care of the people that mean the most to you. Whether you’re
looking for a trustworthy osteopath, physiotherapist, podiatrist; or any other local mobile allied health provider, the
Home Visit Network is a directory of all mobile Allied Health and related services who work in your local area.
ABOUT THE HOME VISIT NETWORK
The Home Visit Network is a igniting a revolution in home care by uniting users and mobile therapists in Australia.
Together, we are transforming access to and delivery of healthcare, one home visit at a time.