Prevention and Primary Care
The old age health care system pays the doctors to meet with patients and work on their immediate needs. They will get treatment, some short advice, a prescription and a follow-up appointment.
Today, there is a new model in Primary Care that can potentially save insurers millions, it encourages the prevention of illness as much as it’s treatment. The idea is that the family doctor can act as a health coach who guides and advices the patients on how to lead a healthier life.
The popularity of this patient centered approach has slowed down ER visits, hospital admissions and even helped drop drug prescription numbers. Chronic conditions like Diabetes can especially benefit from this new model. And there is no denying that the patients enjoy their doctor’s bigger involvement.
They see the patient’s life as a whole as opposed to one specific issue that needs to be fixed. Doctors keep track of patients between visits and act as the central point between specialists, nutritionists and others. They monitor blood pressure, blood sugar and other tests and whether patients are exercising and taking their medication. Some even exchange emails with patients.
For example, instead of simply telling someone to exercise or stop smoking, a primary care physician or member of the patient’s care team might devise a plan with the patient and then check to see that he sticks to it. And guides the patient to a healthier lifestyle. This “new” concept can also be seen as a throwback to the “old school” primary care physician that was like a member of your family who really knew you instead of seeing you as just a name on a chart. And it’s really just a better approach to healthcare.