Interventional house calls help rural patients

2020 06 15 23 55 8696 Patient Elderly Woman 400

Sending interventional radiologists into patient homes in rural areas to perform procedures can help reduce emergency radiology visits by 77%, according to a June 13 presentation at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR)'s 2020 virtual meeting.

In the talk, Dr. Nazar Golewale, an interventional radiologist with Modern Vascular & Vein Center in Valparaiso, IN, discussed how he has set up a portable interventional radiology practice that provides services to some 900 patients. He conducts procedures like ultrasound-guided needle biopsy, paracentesis and thoracentesis, and ultrasound-guided joint injections for pain, wound care, and drug infusions.

Modern Vascular & Vein Center launched the service to meet the challenge of providing specialty care for patients who are homebound or chronically ill in the community. Patient satisfaction scores have increased from 17% before the program to 84% after its implementation, Golewale said.

In addition to reducing ER visits, hospital visits fell 50% for a group of almost 1,000 elderly homebound patients with chronic illnesses who were included in the study presented at SIR 2020. The house call service includes healthcare providers in internal medicine, podiatry, laboratory services, and wound care in addition to interventional radiology.

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