The Home Visit Evidence of Effectiveness Review (that's a mouthful!), which came out in November, revealed that home visits can have "numerous favorable impacts" for "at least one year after...." Most models reviewed had "favorable impacts on...child development and school readiness and positive parenting practices." Some models of home visiting even showed improved maternal health!
As a Direct Primary Care doctor, I offer home visits to all of my patients but I make a particular effort to see newborn babies during their first month of life at home. I find it a joyful time to be a part of a family's life and I remember, from personal experience, how hard it can be to grab that huge diaper bag, gear up in the car seat and stroller, drive to the doctor's office, wait and wait to finally be seen for a quick visit and then reverse the whole process home! I never liked the idea of having my healthy newborn waiting around multiple patients with colds there for sick visits. So, I adapted the idea of newborn home visits.
Who knew that I wasn't just protecting newborns from sick patients and protecting moms and dads from added stress in this fragile and joyful time, but I may also be improving that child's development, readiness for school once that time arrives, parenting skills, and mom's health! Hooray for Home Visits!
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.