The Home Field Advantage of a Primary Care Home
Even those who work hard at staying healthy will fumble or get tackled.
Everyone gets sick at some point. Flu, a common cold, stomach bugs – they all make the rounds at this time of year.
While a trip to an urgent care clinic might help ease the symptoms, a primary care home is typically your better option for long-term healthy outcomes. Patients who have a primary care provider have overall lower health care costs and higher satisfaction rates.
A primary care home is more than just having the name of your doctor at the tip of your tongue. It is where your primary care provider plays quarterback to a care team that coordinates your health care beyond treating a sudden case of sniffles. It is where wellness examinations, preventive services, chronic diseases management and acute illness treatments are first downs in your health care playbook. It is where you get to score touchdowns on the health goals in your life.
In a primary care home, your provider also acts as a coach, helping you navigate through the game of health. The health care industry is getting more complicated. With advances in technology, improvements in medical therapies and a convoluted system of insurance and regulatory issues, it is essential to have a primary care team that knows you and knows about you.
Offense is obviously important as you move toward the goals of chronic disease management. Managing care on a continuum and in context of the individual patient is a more effective, efficient, and holistic approach to patient care. Treatment of acute illnesses also requires knowledge of your overall health and medical conditions. Defense also plays a key role in health care wins! Preventive health services, immunizations, wellness exams, and screening tests are all critical in maintaining good health.
The advantages of a primary care home are much like playing football in your home stadium. You get to know your provider and your care team, and, more importantly, your providers get to know you and your health history.
Continuous care at a primary care home builds a long-term relationship between you and your provider that can help reveal ongoing health issues that might otherwise go unrecognized at a single doctor’s office visit. Such relationships lead to better communications and disease management, less risk of complications, fewer hospitalizations and fewer visits to an emergency department. A primary care home also helps maximize your health-care dollars with significant savings over unnecessary emergency department visits.
How do you know when should you go to your primary care provider or the emergency department?
|Primary Care Office||Emergency Department|
|persistent pain or condition||sudden/severe pain|
|minor aches and pains||coughing up or vomiting blood|
|cold or flu-like symptoms||fainting or sudden weakness|
|earaches||severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea|
|minor burns or cuts||shortness of breath|
|minor dog or animal bites||sudden change in or loss of vision|
|persistent fever||sudden chest pain or pressure|
|skin rashes||sudden confusion or change in mental state|
|symptoms of sexually transmitted infections||uncontrolled breathing|
As you enjoy (or suffer through) the bowl games this time of year, you might be contemplating some New Year’s resolutions. These almost always include some impossible health goal – like losing 100 pounds or exercising six hours a day. Why not make a resolution that is truly beneficial to your health, and extremely easy to keep? Make an appointment with your primary care provider.