Sometimes people ask us if it’s safe to visit them in the home during these unprecedented times of COVID.
The truth is, as we are only able to see a few people per day and have minimal contact with anyone else, home visits are safer and in-clinic visits. Patients can choose to open windows put on the fan put on the air conditioning, and to ventilate their home as they see fit during sessions of exercise physiology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, art therapy or allied health assistance.
What are the risks of in-clinic visits and why are home visits seen as safer?
If you’re considering whether to have home visits or in-clinic visits, the answer is simple – home visits are safer.
In-clinic visits present the risk of cross-infection if other patients have been in the clinic that day presenting with COVID symptoms. All surfaces must be cleaned between each patient and PPE must be worn at all times. This can make for a hot, stuffy and clinical environment that is not conducive to healing.
Home visits provide a more relaxed environment where the patient feels more comfortable and can choose how to best ventilate their home. There is no risk of cross-infection as only one patient is seen per day in their home.
While home visits are deemed as safer, there are some circumstances in which an in-clinic visit may be more appropriate such as:
- If the home environment is not safe or suitable for the delivery of care (e.g. hoarding)
- If the home environment is not private or confidential (e.g. living in a share house)
- If the patient requires the use of specialised equipment that is only available in the clinic (e.g. certain types of exercise machines or electrical stimulation devices)
- If the patient lives too far away to make home visits practical (e.g. over an hour’s drive)
How can you make a home visit safe for both the patient and the practitioner?
Our staff have rigid COVID protocols and infection control protocols they need to adhere to before during and after each home visit. All of our staff are triple-vaccinated by mandate, and a very vigilant to ensure no cross contamination between facilities or practices occurs.
If the patient has any concerns about the home visit, or does not feel well enough to proceed with the session, they may cancel the session at any time.
What are some of the benefits of home visits over in-clinic visits?
There are many benefits of home visits over in-clinic visits, some of which include:
- Feeling more relaxed and comfortable in your own home
- Being able to choose how to best ventilate your home
- No risk of cross-infection as only one patient is seen per day
- Being able to choose a time that suits you best
- Home visits are often more convenient as there is no need to travel to and from the clinic
- Home visits can be tailored specifically to your needs as they are not limited by time or space constraints like in-clinic visits.
Are there any drawbacks to home visits that need to be considered before making this switch?
As COVID continues to impact our personal and professional life, we want to ensure you have peace of mind. We are doing all that we can to prevent COVID infection.
The only drawback to home visits is that they may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may feel more comfortable in a clinic setting or may require the use of specialised equipment that is only available in the clinic.
We understand that these are unprecedented times and we want to do everything we can to support our patients and keep everyone safe.
If you have any concerns about whether home visits or in-clinic visits are right for you, you may speak to one of our allied health professionals. We will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your individual circumstances.