Primary care physicians have helped us build a strong healthcare system that promotes health equity and positive outcomes. In the past few decades, there has been a shift from disease-oriented care to family community clinics involving culture, ethnicity, genetics, and environment. This transition to family-based or community-based care has increased the need for primary care.
However, even with the increasing need for family doctors, there an imbalance in specialty services and primary care. Due to improved technology structure, specialty care is more available than before. Hence, leading to a disparity in the system.
Keeping this in mind, this article will discuss the importance of primary care physicians in health management systems.
How Primary Care Physicians Offer Value to Patients?
Primary care physicians offer value to patients in the following ways:
- The patients have an option to visit the primary care physicians with a range of health-related issues. In most cases, they can also receive a solution to these issues.
- Primary care involving family doctors creates a roadmap to guide the patient in the right direction such as health network referrals.
- It promotes a healthy relationship between the patient and the doctor, which encourages proper health decision-making in the future.
- The costs of visiting a specialist and acquiring dedicated treatment are often high. A primary care physician not only reduces the possibility of unnecessary procedures but also offers primary care at lower costs.
How Primary Care Physicians Improve Health Management?
The major benefit of primary care is high-quality health management and routine primary care. Below we have explained how primary care physicians offer quality care to patients.
1. Proper Guidance
Every patient who has a family doctor or a primary care physician visits the physician on a regular basis with different issues. The ability of primary care physicians to resolve and address these varied health issues creates a convenient path for appropriate treatment.
Although the primary care physician can’t address every health issue, they properly guide the patient and medical groups through health network referrals and service coordination. This allows the patient to reach the appropriate healthcare touchpoint in the system.
Mrs Jones visited her primary care physician for extreme shoulder pain. The doctor knows that Mrs Jones has a hectic schedule around the wedding season as she is a wedding planner and he also knows that Mrs Jones suffers from cervical. Considering all these factors, the physician offers some painkillers, suggests some exercises, and recommends purchasing a cervical pillow for sound sleep.
Without your doctor knowing these personal life details and long-term medical history, the solution to the above problem can result in a series of medical tests.
2. Continuous Relationship
It hard for the patient to understand the healthcare system and navigate it without spending resources and a lot of money. Primary care physicians create an easy route via a continuous relationship with the patient.
Mrs Jones moved to a new area recently, let’s say Orange County. She knows an Orange County physician through some referrals. Hence, Mr. Jones starts visiting the Orange County Physician for primary healthcare regularly. When Mrs Jones experienced frequent dizziness and numbness in the hands after a year, the Orange County physician referred her to the right hospital and specialist.
It is possible for patients to visit a reliable specialist when referred by their primary care physician.
- The patient can receive proper health network referrals.
- The primary care doctor can arrange treatment in a different environment such as another hospital.
- The physician can find appropriate sources for care such as a physiotherapist.
Other than navigating the healthcare system, primary care generates a proper environment for enhanced care through continuous relationship. Since the physician knows your medical history, you can call the doctor for immediate care if urgently required. If not on call, the doctor always knows the medical history which enables him or her to offer instant care without delay.
3. Early Disease Detection
One of the important benefits of primary care and continuous relationship is early detection of unusual health conditions. For instance, multiple health issues have related consequences and sometimes, some concurrent issues influence other health conditions.
The occurrence of the symptoms of these issues can alert the primary care physician to direct you towards correct treatment early.
In fact, some diseases can be easily detected early only by the primary care physician. For example, work-related asthma.
This is possible because time plays a crucial role in the detection of multiple severe and non-severe illnesses. The continuous relationship with the physician serves well in this case.
4. Enhanced Family Care
Since the primary care physician of the individual often becomes the primary care doctor of the family, the family-related diseases can be detected early.
For instance, thyroid. This illness is commonly passed on to off-springs by the parents or grandparents. Knowing the family history can help the primary physician to detect the occurrence of thyroid in the child before the situation gets out of control.
A primary care physician is not necessarily the primary care doctor to every member of a community. But, they are necessary to offer better care to a medical group such as a family. This helps the physician to improve the quality of healthcare.