Establishing a Virtual Home Assessment Program: from Concept to Implementation as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Environmental home assessments have traditionally been performed in-person at the homes of Children's Mercy Kansas City patients. The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to the way patients interact with their healthcare providers, including home visiting programs. Reaching out to patients with high-risk asthma and immunocompromised health was still needed, despite the pandemic. This project's purpose was to develop a virtual (telemedicine) healthy home assessment protocol that would continue to meet patients' needs during the isolation resulting from the pandemic.
RECENT FINDINGS: This is a newly developing approach to performing home environmental assessments with limited published research. Research on the effective use of telemedicine as an alternative to in-person clinic visits has shown that for some health conditions telemedicine represents a useful technique to engage with patients and caregivers. For some conditions, like pediatric asthma, it provides a similar level of efficacy in disease management while providing a more efficient form of interaction. This article describes the development and delivery process, timelines of caregiver interaction, and guidelines for performing virtual home assessments. It summarizes the challenges and benefits of using a virtual process for delivering home assessment services for asthma and allergy patients. Overall, caregivers indicated they found the use of virtual technology had significant benefits for them including their personal comfort and the time efficiency gained by using virtual visits to interact with Healthy Homes Program staff.
Current allergy and asthma reports
Child; Humans; COVID-19; Pandemics; Telemedicine; Asthma
Environmental exposure; Healthy homes; Home visiting; Pandemic; Telehealth; Virtual assessment
Allenbrand R, DiDonna A, Marshall J, Kennedy K. Establishing a Virtual Home Assessment Program: from Concept to Implementation as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2023;23(9):531-540. doi:10.1007/s11882-023-01099-6