Why is Primary Care Important?
Imagine how it would be, having to find a doctor each time you fell sick, then have to describe your health history to them. Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it?
Well, with a primary care doctor you can rest assured that you are getting all the right medical care you need without having to rush to the hospital emergency room whenever a health problem arises.
What Is Primary Care?
Primary care or sometimes-referred to as frontline care is medical care that is provided by your personal physician (primary care provider) who when necessary collaborates with other medical practitioners to ensure that you get the most appropriate care, at the right time, and in the right setting.
Primary care involves disease prevention, promoting healthy lifestyles, managing long-term illnesses (such as high blood pressure and diabetes), diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses in a range of health care settings, educating, and counseling of patients.
Several medical practitioners are considered primary care providers (PCP). They include:
- Family Medicine Doctors: These practitioners offer primary care to both children and adults of all ages. Their scope of practice may range from minor surgery to obstetrics.
- Internists: Also known as, Internal Medicine Specialists, these care providers specialize in adult medicine, with a specific focus on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that largely affect adults.
- Pediatricians: These physicians scope of specialization focuses on pediatric medicine. They deliver care to newborns, infants, children, and adolescents.
- Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PA): Unlike doctors, these care providers undergo a different training and certification process. Under the supervision of a licensed physician, NPs and PAs are able to practice medicine and offer primary care.
Benefits of Having a Primary Care Provider
PCP’s Serve as the Point of Entry
Primary care providers offer the first point of contact in the healthcare system. They see patients first hand, make initial diagnoses, and recommend the best course of treatment. If they cannot handle the treatment, they refer you to a specialist and ensure that there is no duplication of care and testing. They also ensure that their patient’s questions are answered without leaving out important details.
PCP’s Know Your Health History
Establishing a primary care provider relationship early on in life sets a baseline that ensures that your doctor records your personal health history. This knowledge and familiarity helps individualize your care and save time that would have otherwise been spent explaining your medical history and other personal information.
PCP’s Reduce ER and Hospital Visits
Studies indicate that patients who have regular appointments with their primary care doctors have less hospitalizations and ER visits compared to those who do not utilize primary care services. For example, if you suffer from an ailment such as asthma, diabetes, or back pains, your personal doctor can come see you or prescribe some medications without you having to make unnecessary ER visits.
However, it is important to note that true emergencies such as possible heart attack symptoms, stroke, severe allergic reaction, or other life threatening conditions cannot wait for primary care and should go to urgent care or the emergency department.
PCP’S Administer Preventative Care
As general health providers, PCP’s act as the patients advocate by coordinating and providing for their various health problems. They ensure that patients get the recommended medical screenings, immunizations, health education, as well as help them get referrals to medical specialists if necessary. In addition, they provide a continuity of care required for the betterment of your health over time.
They Nurture Doctor/Patient Relationship
One of the secrets towards good health care is strong doctor-patient relationship. Most people do not like talking to strangers, especially when it comes to health issues. However, choosing a primary care provider that you trust with your health details is the foremost step. The next step is booking regular appointments with your physician to share your concerns discuss about your overall health. This way, the relationship will evolve and you will feel more of a team player to your care than a patient.
What’s The Quarterback Role of a PCP?
In a football game, the quarterback player is positioned behind the center to direct the offensive play of the team. In healthcare, the primary care provider acts as the quarterback. He or she serves as the patient’s first point of contact for healthcare in non-emergency situations and directs the patient to specialists when more specific care is needed. In addition, the PCP coordinates the patients overall care, treatment, and education.
Why Choose Boulevard Medical Healthcare?
At Boulevard Medical Healthcare, we offer easy access to a network of specialists who are devoted towards ensuring that patients get best possible care. Our network of doctors includes internists, family medicine doctors, and board certified clinicians among others. At Boulevard Medical our specialty physicians and your primary care physician are all part of one team and under one roof. They regularly communicate with each other and coordinate your care should it become necessary. For help in finding a primary care provider, contact us or schedule an appointment today.