After spending two weeks in Blessing Hospital for COVID-19 treatment, a patient was able to go home  - home but still in need. The patient required a mandatory hospital discharge follow-up visit.

 “When I reviewed the patient’s history – the length of stay, the hospital treatment required and medical history – I felt the best thing for the patient was to go visit them in their home,” said Andrew Dunn, DO, family medicine, Blessing Physician Services. “I would go to them.”

Dr. Dunn did not know the patient.  He stepped forward to meet the patient’s need because their primary caregiver was unavailable.

While a virtual visit was an option in a situation like this, since the patient was discharged on oxygen, Dr. Dunn felt he needed to see the patient first-hand to assess thoroughly their respiratory progress.

“You cannot replace that part of the exam in another way,” the doctor said.

Arriving at the patient’s Quincy home, Dr. Dunn used a secondary entrance to the house to don his personal protective equipment – including an N95 mask, goggles, gown and gloves – and conducted the required hospital discharge follow-up visit.

Other Blessing Physician Services family medicine providers make home visits to patients with physical limitations and medical conditions that do not allow them easy access to an office visit yet require assessment best done in person.

“As providers, we signed up to take care of people, no matter if it’s in the hospital, in the office or at home.  A home visit may very well be the right thing to do for the patient and what we have to do at this time,” Dr. Dunn said.

“We can hope the COVID situation goes away and people don’t get sick. But people are going to get sick. They are going to be home. We’re going to meet their needs in whatever the safest and best way is. If that’s virtually, great, we’ll see them virtually. But if they are sick and have other chronic issues, we will do what needs to be done,” he continued.

Dr. Dunn added patients may also need to be discharged with easy access to medical equipment – including pulse oximeters and blood pressure cuffs – to assist providers in meeting their needs in the safest and best way.

The patient’s primary care provider reports the individual no longer needs supplemental oxygen and appears to have recovered completely.