Preventative care is a highly valuable, yet widely misunderstood approach to medical care. This form of medical care can help patients better prevent disease and illness, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and learn how to lead a life that is both fulfilling yet sustainable.
While this is the case, millions of people in the United States do not receive the preventative care services that they need. This leads to an approach that aims to muffle diseases and disregard the need to pinpoint the risks,causes, and signs and symptoms that lead to sickness and disease in patients.
The medical field is shifting towards this more proactive approach to medicine.
What Is Preventative Care?Preventative healthcare, at its core, is what patients do to stay healthy before they get sick. In other words, it is taking a more proactive approach to medicine. This approach attempts to focus on how to keep patients healthy and minimize the chance of diseases developing by focusing on risk factors, genetics, and preventative testing measures. This is a stark contrast to traditional practices that did almost nothing to prevent disease and only focused on treatment.
So why should you go to the doctor when you’re healthy? The simple answer is that care can help you stay healthier and, as a result, lower your healthcare costs. Additionally, it can also help you to lead a longer and healthier life by educating you about the diseases and illnesses you may be most susceptible to. This enables patients to assume control of their health and take steps towards minimizing the risk of developing diseases and preventable chronic conditions that plague millions of Americans each year.
Preventative care can also help identify chronic health problems like hypertension, diabetes, or certain cancers earlier when they’re most treatable. Tackling health issues sooner helps you and your doctor stay on a healthy track while reducing the risk of developing more serious and debilitating conditions.
Issues Facing Preventative Care
The most common barriers include cost, not having a primary care provider, distance from providers, and an overall lack of awareness about recommended preventative services. Teaching patients about the importance of preventative care is key to making sure more patients get recommended services.
While it is widely accepted that preventative care is a highly effective approach to treatment, there are still some considerable roadblocks hindering its widespread adoption. For starters, having access to a primary care doctor is the main factor that determines if you can receive quality preventative care services. In the future, remote access to physicians could dramatically improve widespread access to treatment and information.
Furthermore, the cost and access to preventative diagnostic services are yet another hindrance. Many people struggle to maintain consistent doctor visits due to issues with the cost and insurance coverage. Preventative care relies heavily on tests and procedures such as blood work, vaccines, and other tests that help to paint a picture of a person’s overall health. Without access to these tests and a doctor to perform them, a patient’s ability to receive important information regarding their health is diminished.
Examples Of Preventative Care
Preventative care comes in many forms ranging from a healthy diet to immunizations. Anything that helps contribute to a decreased risk of sickness and disease can be considered preventative care.
The annual checkup is the backbone of preventative care. These visits allow for the doctor and patient to establish a baseline each year as to where the patient’s health stands. During these appointments, doctors will learn critical insights into the patient’s health and lifestyle habits.
According to the National Cancer Institute, last year approximately 1.8 million new cancer cases were predicted to be diagnosed in the U.S. This makes it important to get screened regularly as the chances of recovery increase drastically if the condition is caught early.
Immunizations are a very common form of preventative care. They help to prevent the transmission of common deadly diseases that have spread in the past, such as polio and measles. They also help prevent transmission and complications of newer, more common and easily transmittable illnesses such as influenza and COVID.
Why Preventative Care Is Important
Preventative care is critically important because it attempts to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle that minimizes the chances of severe disease and illness. Most medical approaches take a more defensive viewpoint and ignore causes and risk factors while focusing mainly on how to treat the disease after its onset. On the other hand, takes an offensive approach and looks at how to keep the body healthy and how to best prime its natural defense system.
Imperial Center Family Medicine is a family care practice that believes in providing high quality care. Their experienced providers offer primary and preventative services to help manage the ongoing health and wellness needs of their valued patients.