First Appointment | Primary Care vs Urgent Care

Over the past few weeks, Dr. Andy Fine has been discussing Patient Empowerment. So far it seems the more you know the more empowered you can be. Last week, we reviewed the Health Risk Assessment, a two-part questionnaire that every new patient at Colorado Primary Health Care is required to fill out prior to being seen by the doctor. Now that the Health Risk Assessment section is completed, it’s time for the first appointment.

[dt_quote type=\”pullquote\” layout=\”left\” font_size=\”h5\” size=\”3\”]A new primary care physician is going to take care of you as a whole and not just your one symptom that day. This is one major benefit of a primary care office compared to an urgent care, which is solely treating your present issue.[/dt_quote]Dr. Andy Fine explains how the first appointment is important to not only address the symptoms you are having that day but to also talk about your health history. As clinicians, we are responsible for reviewing all patient information including past treatment plans and prior procedures by other physicians. If it’s part of your history, it is recorded by the treating clinician and should be addressed and discussed as to whether it is an active problem, resolved problem or chronic condition. Be prepared to discuss that when you visit a new primary care physician as they are going to take care of you as a whole and not just your one symptom that day. This is one major benefit of a primary care office compared to an urgent care, which is solely treating your present issue.

\"\"Most patients have a lot of concerns beyond just what they want to be seen for that day, that they want to discuss or that need to be addressed. Keeping in mind, for our physicians to best treat your conditions, we will need to focus on a couple things at most. The most important and urgent concern can be addressed that day and then follow up appointments will need to be made to address additional issues. To get the best care on the most important and urgent matters, it’s probably best not to wait until you have developed a “laundry list” of 5, 6 or 7 things. For example, to expect to be seen, get a preventive physical and discuss every health concern in a single office visit is not going to be feasible or fair to the patients.

Next week, Dr. Andy Fine will explain what is considered preventative care vs. standard care, especially in the eyes of insurance companies. See you next time!

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