Follow ups and Primary Care
Why Follow ups?
If you come for an acute issue and you were asked to follow up in a week if not feeling better
Please follow up only if you are not feeling better. Most of the time you should feel better. It is only in cases like antibiotic resistance we may have to see you again to resolve your problem.
If you are recently started on a new medication,
The medicines work differently on different people. For example, three most common classes of medicines for controlling blood pressure work only 30 to 40 percent of the times! So to figure out what works best for you we start you on something which is most likely to work and then ask you to follow up in a month. Please follow up in a month.
If your lab values are off
When you are on chronic medications and you seem to be just doing fine, your lab values may show a worsening trend. For example, most of the Thyroid medications may need adjustments as you age, or when your metabolism changes. Wrong dosage can kill your ability to make your own Thyroid Hormone. So whenever we see lab values outside the range we ask you to follow up in about six weeks to repeat the test and make sure labs are stable.
Unstable Chronic Conditions
If your chronic conditions are not stable, for example your diabetes is uncontrolled we ask you to follow up in a month after making adjustments. As you see diabetes has step therapies and our aim here is to find something that works.
Stable Chronic Conditions
If your condition is stable, we ask you to follow up either for once in three months or once in six months. This requirement is to work on various care continuum. Diabetes patients need HBA1C done once in six months. They also need urine albumin screening, retinopathy screening, neuropathy screening. These become part of your care plan and your provider puts a list of things to do in three or six months. Please follow up accordingly.
Primary care when delivered using regular follow ups will make all your healthcare needs shrink. You no longer feel need to use urgent care and ER because you get proper diagnosis and treatment.
In other words, you follow up with us in these intervals so that you do not have follow up with every one else, every now and then as happens with some patients.
If you are confused about why you are being asked to come back, ask your care provider for the plan what they have for your next visit. They care for you and hence putting extra effort in creating individual follow up requirements so that you get the best care.