Incorporating home visits in a primary care residency clinic: the patient and physician experience

Mary Caitlin St. Clair, Aurora Health Care
Glenda Sundberg
Jessica J F Kram, Aurora Health Care

Aurora Family Medicine Residency Program, Family Practice Center, Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine, Aurora UW Medical Group


Purpose: Home visits, once a popular but now uncommon form of health care delivery, are on the rise. Few studies have focused on the value the experience brings to resident physicians and their patients.

Methods: A 6-month pilot was conducted with 11 residents who participated in 32 home visits with 11 patients. Patient and resident experiences were captured through a survey following the home visits.

Results: In all, 100% of patients and a majority of residents were very interested in being a part of and incorporating future home visits, respectively. Every patient in the survey said that the visits resulted in increased trust of their doctor. The top reasons residents regarded home visits as important included: 1) good for patient care, 2) strengthened relationships with patients, and 3) improved understanding of environmental and social factors affecting patients.

Conclusions: Our pilot found that home visits were beneficial to both patients and residents and may be a significant part of the future direction of health care. Ultimately, our hope is to better meet patients' needs by incorporating home visits in residency training and making them a more common practice.