Whether you are a businessman or a paid employee, you can only function optimally when in good health. Health is wealth; so get a qualified primary physician to take care of your health needs. A primary care provider plays a vital role in helping manage the health of you and your family. The care giver is usually a doctor. Experts say he may be a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. Your health care provider will most likely take care of you for a long time, so selecting the person who you trust and feel comfortable with is very crucial.
Experts say you should think of your primary care physician as a partner focused on keeping you healthy for life. This is because he knows your personal health history and schedules routine screening tests that frequently help prevent and detect diseases such as heart attack, cancer and diabetes. It is therefore important you get a doctor that can be trusted. Though most doctors are good, some may not be sound enough to take care of their patients.
According to experts, primary care doctors include family medicine physicians for patients of all ages, internal medicine physicians for adult patients, and pediatricians for children. It is therefore important you make the right choice when selecting a health care physician for yourself or your family. Below are simple steps on how to identify a suitable health care provider, according to experts:
It is important to have a health care provider with flexible appointments. The Vice-President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Akintayo, in an interview with this correspondent, said you need a care provider that is readily available considering the fact that health care problems are never convenient. He advised that you consider where the doctor’s office is located. Experts note that while most healthy adults only need a check-up every one to five years, it’s more convenient to have a doctor located close to your home or work. You should ask how easy it is to get in to see your doctor and you must be aware that some practices have a policy that enables patients to see a primary-care doctor the same day they call for an appointment with the physician.
Access to specialists
Does your care giver have the requisite connections with specialist clinics? You must make sure your primary health care doctor has considerable access to specialists. This is necessary in case of emergencies that require doctors of high expertise. Experts say a primary care doctor is more than just the person you call when you feel ill or suffer an injury. The care provider follows the latest research on disease risk factors and can tell you how to lower your individual risk. A primary care doctor is like a good coach or teacher and he will encourage you to make healthful lifestyle changes, keep track of your preventive tests and treatments, and help you through illnesses. Experts say the physician may also become the custodian of your health history and the doctor other doctors will call for information if you are ever hospitalised for a serious medical condition in any of their clinic.
Though this may not be easily ascertained by a layman, it is however, important to know before making a choice. You should find out whether the doctor works with trained personnel and standard equipment. Experts say you should find out whether the doctor uses electronic health records. This is because personal electronic health records make it easier to share important health information quickly if you need to be seen at another medical facility. They explain that these secure online records also allow you to view test results conveniently, request prescription renewals and appointments, and receive automatic reminders when you are due for immunisations and health-maintenance screening tests. So the choice of your health care provider should also base on his expertise.
You should know how reputable your chosen health care provider is. Ask your friends and family about the primary care doctors they see. Experts say it is always good to ask for personal referrals to try to match styles and to have confidence you are going to a doctor with a reputation for high-quality, patient-focused care. They add that the best source of a referral for a primary care provider is from people you already know. Friends, neighbours, and family members are great sources of information for choosing a primary health care provider.
Are you comfortable with the doctor?
A health care consumer should make sure he feels comfortable with his doctor. This is because you will want to develop a trusting, long-term doctor-patient relationship, and so do all good primary care doctors. It is therefore advisable that you schedule an appointment to find out whether you work well together on a real medical concern. Experts note that one of the best things you can do for your health is to establish a strong working partnership with your primary care doctor and his or her health-care personnel.
You should be able to tell whether the doctor explains things in a way you can understand. Does the doctor talk down to you? Does the doctor seem happy to see you or are you just another number? Think about what kind of person you enjoy interacting with. Does this doctor have those qualities? If he does, then he may not be the best care provider for you. It is therefore advisable you look elsewhere for someone with better qualities
.Source - Punch News