What is Continuity of Care?

What is Continuity of Care?

Seeing a primary care provider is good for your health

Whether you see a health care provider once a year or once a month, having a primary care provider who knows you and your health has numerous advantages.

These include:

  • More efficient and safe care.  Your primary care continuity provider will know your past medical history and be familiar with your medications whenever you visit.  This saves your time by not having to repeat your medical history each time you are seen.  It also makes for safer care.
  • Better coordination of care and advocacy when you see specialist.  A primary care continuity provider will be up to date on your specialist care and make sure you are able to see specialists in a timely fashion.  Because your continuity provider knows what tests you have already had, there is less chance that unnecessary tests will be ordered.
  • Improved communication outside of office visits.  When you make a phone call or send an E-care message, your primary care continuity provider is best able to determine whether you need an office visit or whether you can safely avoid coming in.  He or she can coordinate tests and can quickly and safely refill your medications when appropriate.
  • Making sure your preventive health care needs are met.  Studies show that when someone sees their primary care continuity provider they are more likely to have needed immunizations and preventive tests completed.
  • Taking care of you as a whole person.  Because your continuity provider will know you as a person, you will have a more trusting relationship and will find it easier to express your needs and preferences in health care.

We recognize that our patients have busy lives and cannot always schedule appointments with the same provider and that sometimes their regular provider will not be available.  When this happens, we try to have you see one of the other providers on the team.

Many individuals who only rarely seek medical care just want to be seen promptly and care less about whether they see the same provider.   But if you need to see a provider regularly for more than minor health issues, or for an apparent minor problem that is not resolving, there are good reasons for choosing a primary care continuity provider.

Additional resources

Contact the Patient Service Center to schedule an appointment at Hall Health

Read more about continuity of care on the American Academy of Family Physicians website