For most people, health care decisions boil down to three things: quality of care, cost, and convenience. It’s why many rely on urgent care or quick care when they have a medical need arise. However, this reactive approach to health care prevents us from receiving better outcomes. In order to ensure the best quality of care, prevent unnecessary costs, and save time, we need to have a primary care provider (PCP).
And not just any PCP—the right one. Because with the right PCP, we’re more likely to maintain an ongoing relationship. This continuity is the single most important aspect of our health care routine and is what ultimately leads us to better health care outcomes. The following are five benefits you’ll receive when you find the right PCP for you:
Lower health care costs
How does going more frequently to a primary care provider lead to lower health care costs? Simply put, it’s about maintenance. An ongoing relationship with a PCP gives you access to preventive care and the benefit of having an expert monitor your existing conditions, which helps you address medical issues before they turn into a costly emergency.
Better quality care
Regardless of where you go to receive care, you should feel like you’re in good hands. However, there is something to be said about continuity of care leading to better quality overall. A PCP you see regularly understands a lot about you, including your family’s medical history, your lifestyle choices, and any prescriptions you’re taking. Your PCP keeps track of when you see specialists and the medications they prescribe, keeping all of your medical records in one centralized location. This helps them diagnose issues more accurately and understand when changes in your medication could cause negative side effects.
Having an ongoing relationship with a PCP means you don’t have to rehash your medical history every time you go in for an office visit. Instead, your PCP builds a baseline of knowledge about your medical history, allowing them to recommend a course of action more quickly. There’s also no need to recall which specialists you’ve seen recently or the medications they’ve prescribed—your PCP is familiar with all your health records.
Regular visits with your PCP allow you to focus on more than just symptoms—you can also receive personalized recommendations to help you achieve your health goals and prevent medical emergencies. A PCP who knows you and understands your medical history and lifestyle choices is an excellent confidant when it comes to figuring out beneficial treatments and lifestyle changes.
It can be challenging to disclose private or deeply personal information with a stranger, even if they’re a medical professional. But it’s so important to be open about any issues you’re experiencing because what seems manageable right now could turn into a bigger issue in the future. Developing a familiar, trusting relationship with a PCP over time makes it easier to open up about things that are bothering us and ultimately results in better health care outcomes.
Haven’t found the right doctor for you yet? You’re in luck. MyHealthKC makes it easier than ever to find the right primary care physician for you. Simply answer a few questions about yourself, and MyHealthKC will show you a list of local physicians who match with your personality and needs.