Primary Care Service
A primary care service includes preventive health care and patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute illness and injuries, management of chronic diseases and disorders, and referrals to specialists when needed. This service is delivered by family physicians, internists, pediatricians, geriatricians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
The Primary Care Doctor can be provide services in different settings, including outpatient clinics, community centers, hospitals, nursing homes, clinicians' offices, and home care. Ideally, primary care is comprehensive and continuous, beginning with first contact and continuing through all stages of a person's life. It also encompasses other services such as home health care, rehabilitation and hospice.
Providing efficient and effective care is important for primary care, as is using resources wisely. Underuse of needed services and overuse of unnecessary ones can hurt patients and waste resources, for example, the time of clinicians, money, and access for other patients. Inefficient use of resources can also affect quality of care, for example, tests that are performed too often or too infrequently.
The primary care service is a system of accessible, affordable, and high-quality health care delivered by a team of clinicians who are accountable for meeting a large majority of personal health needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. This service is available to the general public, as well as to individuals whose families or communities are not served by other services (IOM, 1994b).
In addition to addressing a large majority of individual health care needs, primary care clinicians provide access to a full range of personal health care services in a setting that is integrated with other health care systems and with social factors such as employment, housing, and environmental hazards. This integration is necessary because most patients have a combination of physical, mental, and social factors that influence their health status.
This committee views the primary care task as one that is complex and multidimensional, encompassing both an individual's physical and emotional health and a community's social conditions and health status. It involves a significant and long-term relationship between patients and clinicians, who need to know a lot about their patient's problems, and be able to understand the larger context of the patient's situation and of the problem in the community or society as a whole.
The Meridian Health Care knows the patient's situation, they are able to provide continuity of care. They are better able to identify the most appropriate and timely interventions and to monitor and track their patients' progress, and they are better able to make appropriate referrals when necessary.
The most effective way to provide continuity of care is through the patient-clinician relationship, which varies from practice to practice. Whether this is done through an annual visit to a local internal medicine clinic or via a telemedicine program, the patient-clinician relationship is the key to successful primary care.
Another key element of continuity of care is the patient's record, which can help the clinician keep track of a patient's medical history and the results of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and other tests. However, the records must be kept current and should not contain information that is outdated or irrelevant to the clinician's knowledge of a patient's condition and behavior. Check out this post for more details related to this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_health.