Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a primary care physician? Having a physician who knows your medical history and manages your health has become a standard component of American health care. But for those who don’t have a primary care provider, here are 20 reasons to get one — now.
1. Continuity of Care: Your Primary Care Provider (PCP) will have a better overall understanding of your health issues and family history.
2. Preventative Care: Can reduce complications from chronic diseases.
3. Health management: A PCP can help manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
4. Screenings: You will be informed about preventative screenings and get them in a timely fashion.
5. Vaccines: Vaccinations are provided when appropriate.
6. Education: PCPs offer information about health trends, diet and exercise.
7. Better diagnosis: A PCP can review all your symptoms to determine what care is needed and whether you should see a specialist.
8. Familiarity: Your PCP will recognize if you have new complaints that may lead to a diagnosis.
9. Referrals: A PCP can provide referrals to other specialists.
10. Coordination of Care : PCPs coordinate information between healthcare providers, making sure there is no duplication of testing.
11. Answer questions: PCPs can read and interpret X-rays, blood tests and urinalysis and can answer questions you may have about the results.
12. Informed decisions: PCPs can help you make informed decisions about your health.
13. Medication safety: PCPs assist in keeping track of all your medications, to make sure there are no interactions.
14. Fewer trips to the ER: PCPs can call in a prescription or answer questions over the phone, reducing unnecessary trips to the hospital.
15. Advocate: Can serve as an advocate during an emergency hospital situation.
16. Lower re-admission rates : Regular follow-up after a surgery or trip to the ER can prevent being readmitted to the hospital.
17. Handle uncomfortable topics: People are usually more comfortable talking to someone they see regularly.
18. Longevity: Studies show people who regularly visit a PCP have longer, healthier lives.
19. Social services: Your PCP has information about social services and can make referrals to appropriate programs.
20. End-of-life care: A PCP can be a partner in making end-of-life choices, filling out an advance directive, a living will and designating a health-care agent.
Looking for a primary care physician? Hartford HealthCare Medical Group has locations around Connecticut. Click here to find one near you.