An Ounce of Prevention
Prevea Adult Preventive Guidelines
In terms of health care, the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," has never been more relevant. Basic preventive health screenings are instrumental in identifying and controlling disease and helping patients live longer, happier lives.
"If patients wait until symptoms are present, it's more difficult to get the situation under control," said Internal Medicine Physician Paul Pritchard, MD, who cares for patients at the Prevea East Mason Health Center. "Identifying issues early during preventive exams gives the provider and patient the opportunity to develop appropriate treatment plans before the symptoms become serious."
Delaying treatment can lead to lost work, a strain on family members and an overall decrease in the quality of life. "For example, if not properly treated, diabetes, which is regularly found and tracked using preventive screenings, may cause blindness, kidney disease and other serious problems," said Dr. Pritchard.
Finding and treating disease early may also save money. Managing a disease in its early stages often requires fewer appointments, tests and prescriptions than if the disease was already more advanced when finally discovered.
Adult Preventive Guidelines
To help educate patients about recommended preventive screenings, Prevea Health recently released new Adult Preventive Guidelines. These guidelines provide general screening recommendations for both men and women. To review these guidelines, click here.
According to Dr. Pritchard, the best way to approach these screenings is through regular physical exams. During a physical exam, the primary care provider will schedule and/or complete all appropriate screenings.
Addressing preventive screenings with the primary care provider during a physical, rather than scheduling the screenings separately, offers a greater continuity of care—the primary care provider is familiar with the patient's medical history and is able to address the patient's total health while developing a treatment plan.
If you have questions about preventive health, tell the scheduler when you call to make your next appointment. Your primary care provider will then allow enough appointment time to answer your questions and listen to your concerns.