What are the differences between chronic, preventive, and acute care? What should you expect from each type of care in both inpatient and outpatient settings when visiting your primary care physician?
As a patient, it is important to understand the different types of care you may have to go through when visiting your PCP.
Here’s what you can expect from chronic, preventive, and acute care in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Chronic care is ongoing care for a long-term condition. It may include things like managing diabetes or heart disease. You will likely need to see your PCP regularly.
Specifically, your PCP will work with you to manage your medical condition and prevent complications.
Inpatient chronic care is usually only necessary if you have a severe exacerbation of your condition or develop complications. For example, if your diabetes is not well controlled, you may need to be hospitalized so your blood sugar can be stabilized.
Outpatient chronic care usually involves regular visits to your primary care physician. Specifically, your PCP will perform different tests and exams to ensure you are not developing a condition that could become a serious issue in the future.
Preventive care is the care you get to help prevent illness or injury. It can include things like vaccinations or cholesterol screenings.
Specifically, preventive care is important because it can help you stay healthy and catch problems early when they are easier to treat.
Inpatient preventive care is usually only necessary if you are at high risk for a certain condition and need close monitoring. For example, if you have a family history of heart disease, you may need to be hospitalized for a week, so your heart can be monitored.
Outpatient preventive care usually involves regular visits to your primary care physician. Specifically, your PCP will recommend specific screenings and vaccinations based on your age, sex, and health history. They may also recommend lifestyle changes to help prevent conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
Acute care is the care you need for a short-term illness or injury. It can include things like a broken bone or the flu. Acute care is important because it can help you recover from an illness or injury and prevent complications.
Inpatient acute care is usually only necessary if you have a severe illness or injury that requires close monitoring. For example, if you break your leg, you may need to be hospitalized so your healing can be monitored.
Outpatient acute care usually involves visits to your primary care physician. Specifically, your PCP will treat your illness or injury and help you recover. You may also need to see other specialists, like a physical therapist, for an injury.
Chronic, preventive, and acute care are all important for maintaining your health. Each type of care has different purposes and is provided in different settings.
As stated above, inpatient care is usually only necessary for severe exacerbations of chronic conditions or acute illnesses and injuries. On the other hand, outpatient care is typically sufficient for your primary care physician to manage chronic conditions and prevent or treat acute illnesses and injuries.
If you are in need of a primary care physician for chronic, preventive, or acute care, then PCP For Life is here for you. To schedule an appointment with a PCP in the Greater Houston Area, call us today at 281-968-4096.