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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2018

Patient house calls in Attica and Thessaloniki, Greece (2005-2015): a model for out-of-hospital multispecialty emergency medicine

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2018
George Theocharis, Spyridon G. Barbas, Theodore Spiropoulos, Petroula E. Stamouli, Dimitrios N. Perdikis, Matthew E. Falagas



The SOS-doctors are a network of physicians who perform house-call visits in the areas of Attica and Thessaloniki, Greece.


Patients requesting medical services by the SOS doctors during the period 1/1/2005 – 31/12/2015 were eligible for inclusion in this retrospective analysis.


During this period 335, 212 home visits were performed. Females used this service more frequently compared to males (60.5% versus 39.5%). Among the age-groups, patients aged over 75 years made 56.6% of all house calls. Fewer phone requests were recorded during autumn than in winter (21.1% versus 29.1%). Infections were the most common cause of house-visits (29%), followed by cardiovascular diseases (10.3%), musculoskeletal (9.1%), gastrointestinal (6.3%) and neurological disorders (3.7%). An increasing demand for radiology at home was observed, starting at 352 calls in 2009 and reaching 2230 in 2015. Finally, 9.2% of patients were advised to be admitted into a hospital.


A shift towards older age, but not the oldest old (> 90 years), and acute conditions was observed during the study period. The study confirms that home visits retain a significant role in the modern health care systems.
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