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Medical services at round-the-clock care-units

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Physicians as part of multidisciplinary teams

Physicians working in round-the-clock care units operated by the City of Helsinki specialise in the care of elderly people. The doctors are from the Home Care Physicians unit of Helsinki City Hospital. They have comprehensive responsibility for the planning and implementation of medical examinations, care and rehabilitation of elderly patients in cooperation with the treatment team and specialists, such as physiotherapists.

What kind of service does a physician provide?

The physician visits the round-the-clock care unit regularly, usually every 2–4 weeks. On other days, nurses are able to reach the personal doctor by phone during office hours. In the evenings and at weekends, the nurses may call the on-call physician, when necessary.

After a new resident moves into the round-the-clock care unit, the physician will familiarise themself with their medical history and assess any need for changes in their medication and the goals of their treatment, for example. When necessary,
the physician will issue statements for a pensioner’s care allowance or transport benefit, for example. 

At the beginning of the treatment period, the physician will also contact family members, if necessary, allowing for the treatment plan to be reviewed together to discuss any matters that concern the family members in terms of medical treatment.
In the future, the doctor will plan medical treatment approximately once a year and assess the resident’s situation when necessary, if their condition changes. The nurse will inform the physician of a call request made by family members, if necessary.

Pre-emptive end-of-life care plan

Most patients in round-the-clock care are frail and have multiple illnesses. Discussions on the end-of-life care plan are usually topical when the progress of illnesses or the length of remaining life can no longer be significantly influenced with care.

A pre-emptive end-of-life care plan includes offering good symptomatic treatment in the resident’s care unit and avoiding any treatment that may increase suffering.

The physician will draft the care plan with the medical overall situation and the patient’s wishes in mind. If the patient’s will cannot be determined, care will be implemented in the best interest of the patient and planned in discussion with the next of kin. The care plan is reviewed annually or when the situation changes.

15.10.2021 14:55