You and your family are pretty healthy. So why do you need a primary care doctor? The same reasons that if you are smart, you have a regular physical exam even if you are feeling healthy: Prevention and continuity of care.
Most of us like to believe that if we take care of ourselves, we will stay healthy. We think we really don’t need a doctor unless we are sick. But the truth is with just a bit of prevention we can catch things early, and often avoid bigger problems in the future. And that’s where your primary care doctor plays a key role.
Having a primary care physician can help keep you healthy now, and as you age. This is what doctors call “continuity of care.” Your primary care doctor is there to help you establish a baseline.
Your Primary Care Doctor knows your past and recent health history
By building an ongoing relationship with you, your primary physician can help you prevent the onset of many health problems by offering lifestyle recommendations that can work to keep you healthy now and into the future.
But continuity of care also means there is someone who has an ongoing knowledge of your health. He or she can work directly with other doctors and specialists to share your health history if you or a family member develops a health issue that requires long-term treatment.
In today’s world continuity of care can also be facilitated by the use of electronic records. When your physician records your medial history electronically, in a system like the one available at PVHC, your information becomes readily available, when needed, to other doctors and specialists throughout our system.
Electronic files keep everyone up to date
So, should you have an emergency, the attending doctors can acquire immediate access to your health history information. This can help them make better decisions about your care. They can also see what prescription drugs you may be taking to help avoid any bad interactions.
When they add their reports to your electronic file the information becomes immediately available to your primary care doctor. This not only allows your regular doctor to stay actively involved in you care, it also builds one “master” file that shows your interaction with other doctors, too – so any doctor reviewing it gets a complete picture of your health history.
As far as primary care providers go, family physicians are well suited to your needs. We are specialty-trained not only to help you with health problems but also in preventative care. Continuity of care is our bread and butter, as we are also trained and experienced in treating patients of all ages and backgrounds.
What’s coming? We are working on a system to allow you to access your chart electronically from home!”– Erik Olsen, MD