Doctors and other practice staff make visits to regular patients of our practice where it is safe and reasonable. These visits may be to patients in their homes, residential aged care facility, residential care facility, or hospital both within and outside normal opening hours where such visits are deemed safe.
All patients are made aware that home visits or a suitable care alternative, are available both within and outside normal opening hours via signage on the building, our afterhours telephone message and from out patient information leaflet at reception.
Regular patients who meet the eligibility criteria are offered home visits.
For regular patients whose circumstances are deemed not safe and reasonable, e.g. the patient is located too far away for a home or other visit, the practice ensures that there is an alternate system of care that these patients can access.
There are arrangements to exchange clinical details about patient care for doctors who perform home and other visits on behalf of the patient’s regular doctor and the care provided is documented in the patient’s medical records.
Home and other visits are provided by appropriately qualified health professionals who have received information and advice about safety and security when conducting home visits.
Any anticipated costs associated with home visits or alternative care systems are discussed with the patient.
A patient can arrange for a home visit if the criteria below are met:
• Are well known and regular patients of this practice
• live within a 2.5km radius of the practice
• where it is deemed by the GP to be safe and reasonable
• the patient has provided a phone number that you have called them back on
• patient has the type of problem that necessitates a home visit such as:
• acute illness
• patients in final stages of terminal illness
• unable to access the practice facilities due to disability
• as long as it is not an emergency, all emergencies must ring 000 for immediate assistance
If the patient at the time of request indicates that the matter is urgent, refer to the triage protocol and list of urgent conditions for appropriate action. When in doubt, ask to put the caller on hold and refer to the patient’s doctor for advice. Information about the home visit will need to be collected and passed onto the GP or nurse to assess as it is sometimes more appropriate for an ambulance to collect patient and take directly to hospital for emergency treatment or admission.
Our doctors home visit schedules are recorded in either before or after each session.
Patients can request home visits however the final decision rests with the treating GP. Practice staff are not to book home or other visits without consulting the GP.
When another health professional is performing home or other visits on behalf of GP at our practice, clinical information is exchanged with the GP at the earliest possible interaction.
All visits provided within or outside normal opening hours are documented in the patient’s medical records. If information is held about the patient in different records (for example, residential aged care facility) there must be a record made for every consultation in each system indicating where the clinical notes for the consultation are recorded to ensure patient health information is available when required.
Where it is unsafe or unreasonable to provide a patient with care at home or in another location outside the practice, patients are advised of alternative arrangements. There is always a doctor on call at the local hospital so staff can organise Ambulance transport to the local hospital to be seen by the doctor on call. This advice is documented in the patient health record along with evidence of the subsequent care provided.