What to Look for When Selecting a Primary Care Practice
The best time to search for a new primary care practice to fulfill your medical and healthcare needs is when you are relatively healthy and able to meet in person with prospective caregivers to assess their capabilities, demeanor and customer service practices. You will want to conduct thorough research and make a careful medical provider decision well in advance before you suffer from any injury or illness.
Consider Medical Credentials, Plus Bedside Manner
When it comes to matters pertaining to your healthcare and your body, you don’t just want a group of physicians and nurses with credible medical credentials; you also want a primary care practice that has a comfortable bedside manner and responsive customer service. You should feel at ease with your healthcare providers to obtain the best medical care from them, so schedule appointments to meet with prospective primary care providers in person to gauge their personalities and their work styles.
Pick a Medical Practice that Communicates Well and Focuses on Your Needs
Look for primary care providers who take the time to answer your questions thoroughly, provide you with detailed medical information that is easy to understand, and make you feel comfortable and confident you will receive the best level of care possible. This is vital, because if you dislike your medical care providers you will be less likely to go to them when you need help, which could put you at possible risk.
Ask Questions about Fee Structure, Availability of Same Day Appointments and Virtual Visits
There are specific questions to ask when searching for a new primary care practice. First, request to see a price list to understand what you will be paying for service. What business do you buy from that does not disclose prices? Everyday healthcare providers should provide price lists. Ask about office hours and access to urgent care needs. Can you access care or communicate with the practice after hours or on weekends? Ideally, you want a primary and urgent care practice that will accommodate you the same day you request medical care. You don’t want to wait for a week to be seen when you are sick or hurting. You also want to be able to communicate via email, text or phone the way you do in other aspects of your life.
Inquire About Remote Medical Support, eCare and Virtual Visits
Can I communicate with my primary and urgent care practice via telephone, email or text message, not just in-person? Can I have an appointment without traveling to the doctor’s office? This is particularly important if you travel a lot or are a busy professional with limited leave time to make in-person appointments. Many of the leading primary care and urgent care clinics will conduct visits via telephone or video (similar to Skype). With modern technology these visits can reduce the time, cost and stress associated with traveling to the doctor’s office while yielding favorable health outcomes. These visits are typically referred to as virtual visits or eCare. Prestigious facilities and research studies such as Stanford University Hospital have concluded eCare or virtual visits should be a component of everyday healthcare.
By asking numerous questions and meeting with medical providers in person, you will find the right practice to provide all of your primary and urgent medical healthcare needs.