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I remember getting my daughter and me ready for her first pediatric appointment. It was a week after she was born. I had been warned it would take hours to get us both ready, and it was true. Before we could leave, we both needed baths, nourishment, and a change of clothes, plus a change of diapers for her. With her being a newborn, I think we went through that cycle at least twice. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I had been taking one or two siblings with us. Then there was concern about germs in the doctor’s office. Newborns are so tiny and fragile. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the doctor could have come to us?
That’s the thought behind a new program at South Jordan Health Center, part of University of Utah Health Care. The program offers house calls for newborns. The newborn receives the same services at the same price that he or she would have received at the doctor’s office. However, an advantage is that one or both parents are at home, where they are more comfortable. They don’t have to expose the newborn to germs from sick people at the doctor’s office, and they don’t have to take their other children with them or hire a babysitter.
Such visits bring recollections of doctors decades ago who made home visits. Many of us remember Marcus Welby, MD, on television. Healthcare seems to be going full circle. The pediatrician who started the program hopes it can lead to other mobile medical care options. “It provides better access, less stress on families, and an opportunity for providers to work directly in a family’s home where they may be more relaxed to bring up questions and concerns,” said Amy Williams, MD, a pediatrician at the South Jordan Health Center.
The program has been positively received by parents. One mother said, “I feel like I know my doctor better. The fact that she’s coming to my home and seeing where we live, it feels like she really cares.” For more information on home visits through the South Jordan Health Center, click here. For information on another program that includes home visits for new moms, see our blog post “Overwhelmed new moms can use a helping hand.”