By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The future of medicine is going to become more and more based on home care and it makes sense.
Many things can be done better at home than in a hospital environment and home visits and therapy can make a big difference. Take a recent study from the journal Pediatrics as an example. A home-visit program for children with asthma reduced hospitalizations and emergency department visits, improved patient outcomes and saved money.
A community-based asthma care program for low-income families was developed and put into place in 2005 by a team at Children’s Hospital Boston. The program included nurse case management combined with home visits by a nurse or community health worker to educate families about asthma, assess the home for asthma triggers, and provide materials and services to reduce asthma attacks. They put in air filters, special bedding covers and pest control. All of these things reduced the risk factors for asthma. This cut down asthma attacks and hospitalizations.