Physicians are primarily in the business of reactive medicine – taking care of patients who present with a medical concern when they are ill.
However, today as people are living longer, “wellness” or proactive medicine has become a significant component of comprehensive medical care. This is especially true in a personalized care practice, and is proving to provide value for relatively healthier patients.
As “boomers” became part of the Medicare generation, they have changed the dinner conversation from “what pill are you taking” to “how many miles are you walking?” Eating healthy, engaging in physical activity and being proactive about their care is increasingly becoming the norm.
While physicians know that addressing the topic of wellness is important, going beyond a simple discussion and effectively incorporating wellness strategies is often overlooked during patient interactions. At Specialdocs, we believe this is a missed opportunity.
Here are a few suggestions to ensure wellness becomes an integrated part of the care being offered:
- Delivering on the promise of an enhanced annual exam is an expected benefit of a concierge practice. Setting measurable wellness goals, in collaboration with appropriate patients, is an effective enhancement.
- Once a goal is set, it needs to be monitored and measured on a regular basis. Check- in with patients quarterly to assess and monitor progress towards their individual goals.
- Schedule an in-person meeting at the six month mark as a proactive “wellness check” to offer congratulations. Discuss and collaborate on what the patient is doing right, and if the goal is being met. Alternatively, offer a proactive counseling session exploring barriers, options and new strategies if the goal is not being met.
Wellness is contagious, motivating and inspires people to value the ability to “live well.” The positive impact may extend to inspire friends, family and perhaps even coworkers to examine their own personal level of wellness.
This unparalleled dedication to the patients’ total well being is a hallmark that will continue to differentiate a personalized care practice when demonstrating the value of a patient’s investment in their health.