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Missouri doctor makes house calls

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The old-fashioned house call as something that should have never gone out of fashion and there are no downsides to the practice.

Every Thursday, Dr. Don Maples, a physician with Ozarks Community Hospital’s Bolivar Clinic in Bolivar, MO, takes a trip around town. However, he is not admiring the countryside or sightseeing. He is doctoring the old fashion way, by making house calls. Medical practice is marked by improvements almost daily, but Maples sees the old-fashioned house call as something that should have never gone out of fashion. The house call was a staple of medicine for years and Maples still sees the advantage of doctoring the old way. This is all according to Republic Mo News who published a report on March 12.

“Completing house calls allows me to get back to basics and why I became a doctor,” said Maples. “People who have trouble coming to the doctor are at risk, and they deserve access to quality health care. This also allows patients to stay independent in their own homes.” There are no downsides to seeing patients at home, Maples said, especially with technological advancements. Almost all of the information he needs he gets through handheld equipment. “There are only advantages when making house calls. I get to help people who truly need help,” said Maples. “I bring my nurse with me and we can draw blood, give injections and prescribe medications. We try to make it as close to what we do in the office as possible.”

Maples thinks house calls may become more common with America’s aging population. “Because of the aging population, this is going to be something that will definitely increase,” he said. “What is so wonderful about a home visit is that you are able to keep your independence.” Many sick patients do not have someone to drive them to the doctor’s office or in cold weather the patient should not be outdoors at all. “I think about times when my patients are sick with the flu, injured or have had surgery. When that happens, you do not have the energy or ability to get in your car and drive to your doctor, but you know you don’t need an ambulance and an emergency room visit, either. You need someone to come help you,” Maples said. People can find in-home care providers on sites like this.

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