Doctor House Calls and Portable Technology


In recent years the advancement of mobile radiologic imaging technology has made it possible for homebound patients to prevent a trip to the hospital or clinic. Portable xray machines are easily wheeled into the patient's home and other location. They can even be transported up flights of stairs in some instances. With these machines, an xray image may be obtained, then processed on site and wirelessly provided for the ordering physician and/or radiologist for interpretation. The treating physician might even access the images on the laptop computer, iPad or perhaps a smart phone such as an iPhone or Droid. Image quality is excellent now in comparison with just a few years ago. Obtaining portable xrays at a patient's home, while higher priced than when done with a radiology imaging center, frequently turns out to be cost saving. Typical fees for portable xrays completed in the home, such as a chest xray or set of ankle xrays, are about $350 compared with $50 when the patient travels on the xray facility. However, to buy a ambulance ride for the non-ambulatory patient may go higher, and may not be covered by insurance. When patients must go the the emergency department on an xray, a common occurrence after hours, the price may be in the thousands.

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Mobile urgent care services situated in San Francisco, frequently make use of these mobile radiologic services to supply doctor house calls service. They take mtss is a step further by offering this technology to patients of every age group, not just the homebound elderly. They may be staffed by emergency physicians along with their assistants. These house call providers are highly proficient in emergency medical care and they are fully capable of managing mild to moderate orthopedic trauma, such as ankle sprains, broken wrists, etc. As soon as the xray is obtained on site, physicians carry splinting equipment so that injuries may be quickly and easily immobilized for comfort. Medications are then dispensed for the patient's convenience, or prescribed for pickup at a local pharmacy.

This way, patients are not required to endure marathon waiting times within an ER. The physicians offering doctor house calls service hold the luxury of time so that patient communication is generous and questions are answered. Housecall providers remain easily accessible by telephone after the visit should patients have further questions or problems.

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Additional portable radiologic services offering convenience and cost savings include ultrasound and EKGs. While lightweight EKG machines have been about for some time and are easily utilized throughout the housecall, ultrasounds have only fairly recently become compact enough for east travel. In fact, recent times have seen the roll-out of handheld ultrasound devices allowing for quick visual assessment of countless problems at just about any location.