Primary Care Services
Primary care is the day-to-day healthcare given by a health care provider. Typically, a primary care provider acts as the first contact and principal point of continuing care for patients within a healthcare system and coordinates other specialist care that the patient may need. Patients commonly receive primary care services from professionals such as a primary care physician (general practitioner or family physician), a physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner. Depending on the nature of the health condition, patients may then be referred for secondary or tertiary care.
To stay safe and healthy today and in the future, you need access to a primary care provider who knows and understands your health history, wellness goals, and concerns.
A primary care physician has the necessary training that allows them to be the first point of contact when someone needs to see a healthcare professional. They are a health care professional who will make it a point to get to know you much better, which helps them to assist you in your healthcare needs better.
Therefore, you should feel very comfortable discussing anything with your primary care doctor as your good health depends on it. When you choose to use the services of a primary doctor, you are doing your part when it comes to taking care of your overall good health and well-being.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, primary care physicians are advocates for the patient in coordinating the use of the entire health care system to benefit the patient.
A primary care medical practice is the first place a patient will contact when they require any health care. A primary care doctor offers their patients primary care services like health maintenance, disease diagnosis, and disease prevention as well as positive health advice for their overall health and preventive information.
More and more primary care doctors are also offering their patients holistic health care options nowadays, which can be used to address any physical, emotional, or mental issues they may be currently experiencing.
Without further ado, here are seven common primary care services available for patients today.
- Preventive services – Many primary care doctors provide health promotion education to help prevent illnesses or diseases.
- Proper disease diagnosis – Primary care doctors can do physical exams or run lab tests to diagnose diseases or other illnesses.
- Ongoing care for common illnesses – Primary care doctors can continue to see a patient to treat their illnesses and diseases once they are diagnosed.
- Caring for chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes – Many primary care physicians work with other specialists when it comes to more severe conditions such as cancer or heart disease. However, the specialist will keep the primary care doctor updated so that they can continue to monitor their patient’s condition.
- Annual checkups – A primary care doctor can complete yearly checkups, which are important, especially as we get older. They are also familiar with their patient’s medical histories and will know what they are at a higher risk for.
- Screening for common age-related conditions – A primary care physician can provide health screenings for common age-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, or osteoporosis.
- Provide recommendations to a specialist when needed – If a primary care physician uncovers an illness or disease that is better suited for treatment from a specialist, they can provide a recommendation so that the patient can see the right doctor for help.
Got Some Questions?
Do you have any questions about primary care services that we can answer for you? If you do, please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as you have a few moments to discuss.
At Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc, we understand how important it is for you to receive correct information about your health, and for that reason, we always make ourselves available to those who need us.
Our caring team members are also available to make any necessary medical appointments you may need. Understand that we are here for you, as we genuinely care about your health.
Request an appointment here or call us at (770) 212-3991 for an appointment in our Woodstock office.
Choosing A Primary Care Provider
A primary care provider (PCP) is a health care practitioner who sees people that have common medical problems. This person is most often a doctor. However, a PCP may be a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner.
Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time. Therefore, it is important to choose someone with whom you will work well.
A PCP is your main health care provider in non-emergency situations. Your PCP’s role is to:
- Provide preventive care and teach healthy lifestyle choices
- Identify and treat common medical conditions
- Assess the urgency of your medical problems and direct you to the best place for that care
- Make referrals to medical specialists when necessary
Primary care services are most often provided in an outpatient setting. However, if you are admitted to the hospital, your PCP may assist in or direct your care, depending on the circumstances.
Having a PCP can give you a trusting, ongoing relationship with one medical professional over time. You can choose from several different types of PCPs, including:
- Family practitioners – Doctors who have completed a family practice residency and are board-certified, or board-eligible, for this specialty. The scope of their practice includes children and adults of all ages and may include obstetrics and minor surgery.
- Pediatricians – Similarly, these are doctors who have completed a pediatric residency and are board-certified, or board-eligible, in this specialty. The scope of their practice includes the care of newborns, infants, children, and adolescents.
- Geriatricians – Doctors who have completed a residency in either family medicine or internal medicine and are board-certified in this specialty. They often serve as a PCP for older adults with complex medical needs related to aging.
- Internists – Doctors who have completed a residency in internal medicine and are board-certified, or board-eligible, in this specialty. The scope of their practice includes the care of adults of all ages for many different medical problems.
- Obstetricians/gynecologists – Doctors who have completed a residency and are board-certified, or board-eligible, in this specialty. They often serve as a PCP for women, particularly those of childbearing age.
- Nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) – Practitioners who go through a different training and certification process than doctors. They may be your PCP in some practices.
Many insurance plans limit the providers you can choose from, or provide financial incentives for you to select from a specific list of providers. Make sure you know what your insurance covers before starting to narrow down your options.
When choosing a PCP, consider the following also:
- Are the office hours convenient to your schedule?
- Is the office staff friendly and helpful? Is the office good about returning calls?
- How easy is it to reach the provider? Does the provider use email?
- Do you prefer a provider whose communication style is friendly and warm, or more formal?
- Do you prefer a provider focused on disease treatment, or wellness and prevention?
- Does the provider order a lot of tests?
- Does the provider have a conservative or aggressive approach to treatment?
- Does the provider refer to other specialists frequently or infrequently?
- What do colleagues and patients say about the provider?
- Does the provider invite you to be involved in your care? Does the provider view your patient-provider relationship as a true partnership?
As you look for an experienced and reputable health care professional to provide you with primary care services, you can get referrals from:
- Friends, neighbors, or relatives
- Your dentist, pharmacist, optometrist, previous provider, or other health professional
- State-level medical associations, nursing associations, and associations for physician assistants
- Advocacy groups may be especially helpful to find the best provider for a specific chronic condition or disability
- Many health plans, such as HMOs or PPOs, have directories, websites, or customer service staff who can help you select a PCP who is right for you
Another option is to request an appointment to “interview” a potential PCP. There may be no cost to do this, or you may be charged a co-payment or other small fee. Some practices, particularly pediatric practice groups, may have an open house where you have an opportunity to meet several of the providers in that particular group.
If a health care problem comes up and you do not have a primary provider, in most cases, it is best to seek non-emergency care from an urgent care center rather than a hospital emergency room. This will often save you time and money.
In recent years, many emergency rooms have expanded their services to include urgent care within the emergency room itself or an adjoining area. To find out, call the hospital first.
Why Is Primary Care Important?
Nobody wants to feel like a number in a vast, impersonal system — especially when it comes to something as important as taking care of your health.
Primary care is meant to be your main source for healthcare, one in which you have an ongoing partnership with your healthcare provider in the larger context of your community. Primary care is designed to:
- give you better access to healthcare
- lower your costs
- improve your health outcomes
Many people find that primary care is a better alternative than going to the emergency room because it is a less expensive and less time-consuming way to treat basic, acute illnesses or injuries.
According to the Council on Graduate Medical Education, people who have easy access to primary care services tend to spend less money on their healthcare and are healthier, too.
Ready to Work with Us?
Data from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSAA) shows that the number of primary care doctors in the country is set to steadily increase in the near future.
This will provide people with a variety of options when selecting a primary care physician (PCP). It is important to understand that finding a great PCP is no easy task. It entails finding a primary care provider that not only provides preventive care but also understands who you are and what is best for your medical situation.
No two PCPs are the same, so it is important to do your research and find a primary care provider that will fit with your personality and guide you down a healthy and sustainable path to wellness.
Primary Care Services
Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc is a primary care practice that specializes in providing preventive care to patients. Our team prides itself on the personalized approach and integrity with each patient interaction.
If you need primary care services in Woodstock, call us now at (770) 212-3991 or contact us online to schedule an appointment/consultation to discuss your health needs.
Primary Care Services