Ten Reasons Why Primary Team-Based Care Is Important
Why it takes a team to help you reach and maintain your optimal wellness.
Americans made more than 860 million visits to doctor’s offices in 2018. Most people are happy to go to just one doctor. But their primary care physician may not offer everything they need. If you want truly comprehensive health care, you need team-based care.
But what exactly is team-based care? How can it help your physical and mental health? What are the different resources that a team of doctors can offer to you?
Answer these questions and you can improve your health through thorough regimens in little time. Here are ten benefits of a primary care team.
1. Team-Based Care Covers All Aspects of Health
A primary care team consists of professionals with different levels of experience and different specialties. A primary care physician is an “all-around doctor,” knowledgeable about many aspects of health.
But their knowledge is not comprehensive. Getting team-based health care, including from physician assistants, nurse practitioners and others, will help you access specialists and advanced practice providers, and other resources to get and keep you healthy.
2. Primary Care Doctors Know Their Patients
Primary care is about putting patients first. A doctor will ask their patient questions to understand their health and to get to know them better.
A person can build a relationship with their doctor through time. They can talk about their hobbies and personal interests and learn to trust their doctor.
A doctor can develop therapies that reflect their patient’s interests. If they like to make art, they can paint as a form of psychotherapy. They can talk to a patient about how to adapt their life around treatments.
3. Doctors Can Prevent Serious Problems
Preventive care focuses on keeping chronic or serious health problems from arising. Doctors can look at family histories, test results and a person’s description of their symptoms.
They can then determine if a person is at risk for disease and figure out ways of helping their health. Small things like taking vaccines and exercising can make significant improvements.
Certain conditions like prediabetes can be reversed, provided that treatment starts as soon as possible. Some people are not aware that they have prediabetes until they go to their doctor. This makes regular visits essential.
4. Doctors Can Treat Ongoing Problems
Doctors are not limited to preventative measures. They can treat all patients with pre-existing conditions, regardless of their severity, and direct them to resources that best fit their needs.
Doctors can help with physical and mental disorders alike. Someone may experience chronic pain, which can contribute to anxiety and depression. A primary care team can offer someone resources from a psychiatrist or therapy to combat a mental problem.
5. Care Is Holistic
Doctors offer multiple therapies to treat a problem. To treat chronic pain, someone may need to take pain-relieving medications, lose weight or undergo psychotherapy.
Holistic care offers a health safeguard. A person is never confined to one avenue to improve their health. If something is not working for them, they can get care from other therapies while they find another one.
6. Healthy Living Advice Is Easy to Follow
Primary care is often an incremental process. A person learns how to build a healthy habit over a long period of time. Someone who needs to lose weight creates goals for themselves and keeps a journal so they can monitor their progress.
Doctors can refer people to reliable resources from the government and health care institutions. This lets people learn about how they can incorporate healthy living into their lives. Brown & Toland patients have access to a wide variety of education programs, offering assistance from managing a chronic illness to simply maintaining good health
7. Teams Make Fewer Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, even doctors. An easy way to prevent mistakes is to work in a team. When a doctor’s work is being checked by others, possible mistakes can be caught and a person’s health can improve.
Team members communicate with each other through face-to-face conversations and written documents. When a member is not sure about what to do, they ask questions. Using each other as a resource means that teams make fewer mistakes than doctors working on their own. Tools such as Epic, and it’s patient portal MyChart, help to keep everyone on the same page, as well.
When mistakes do happen, teams learn from them. They convene and talk about what went wrong. They then devise strategies to prevent the mistakes from happening again.
8. Teams Use Organizational Tools
Systems to manage a variety of conditions help keep patients’ treatments on track. Brown & Toland patients have access to a wide range of care management programs, for example, that help them manage diabetes or coordinate care that requires more hands-on treatment.
9. Team Members Can Use Connections
A person never has only one team working for them. The members of their primary care team can connect with other teams working at different organizations.
If someone has a unique medical problem that needs a less common treatment, they can receive it. They may not wait as long for treatment as they would normally. For example, many Brown & Toland patients can connect with organizations like Landmark so they can receive in-home care.
10. Teams Can Reassure People
Any type of health problem can be difficult to deal with. Even if someone does not develop a mental health condition due to their physical problem, they may feel lower self-esteem or intense emotions.
Team-based care is a resource that is always available. A person can contact a team member whenever they are experiencing a problem or need help.
The Many Benefits of Team-Based Care
Team-based care has numerous benefits. Primary care becomes comprehensive yet personal, with each member interacting with a patient.
Teams can prevent serious problems and treat them as they occur. A person pursues multiple therapies at once, learning how to incorporate healthy habits in their life.
Teams make fewer mistakes, in part because they keep organized. When a team cannot treat an individual, they can refer them to other medical professionals. But a team provides support to anyone at any time.
Don’t tackle your health on your own. Brown and Toland Physicians serves Bay Area residents. For help finding a Brown & Toland doctor near you, visit brownandtoland.com/doctor.
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If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately, call your doctor, or go to the emergency room/urgent care.