George Peppas, M.D.1,2, George Theocharis M.D.1, Efthymia Karveli2, Matthew Falagas M.D.2,3.

 

  1. SOS Doctors, Athens Greece.
  2. Alpha Institute of Biomedical Sciences (AIBS), Athens, Greece.
  3. Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston,

Massachusetts, USA.

 

Introduction

The objective of this study was to describe the patterns of utilization of house calls services provided by SOS Doctors in the area of Attica, Greece. SOS Doctors is a medical company that provides fee for service, emergency, outpatient services including house calls on a 24 hour basis in the area of Attica.

Methods:

We performed a retrospective analysis of data regarding house calls visits of patients in the area of Attica (metropolitan area of Athens and surrounding cities), Greece. Characteristics of patients who received house call services by a physician, including diagnosis and recommended management plan, including advice for hospitalization were analyzed.

Results:

SOS Doctors in the area of Attica performed 98.009 house calls during the 5 year study period (1/11/2000-31/10/2005). Patients older than 65 years requested 47,8% of the house calls. Females requested more house calls compared to males (59,4% versus 40,6, p<0,001).

 

Conclusions:
9,1% of patients were advised after the evaluation at home to be admitted to a hospital to receive inpatient services. The highest utilization of these emergency services was in patients aged between 75 and 90 years. The majority of diagnosis (18,4%) were infections of upper and lower respiratory tract. SOS Doctors general positive experience suggests that house calls provided by individual practitioners, physician group practices, of organized companies and organizations should regain their well deserved position in the modern health care systems especially for old aged patients and patients with limited or no motility.

 

Reference:

An analysis of patient house calls in the area of Attica, Greece

George Peppas, M.D.1,2, George Theocharis M.D.1, Efthymia Karveli2, Matthew Falagas M.D.2,3

BMC Health Services Research 2006, 6:112