Benefits of Having a Primary Care Provider
With a shortage of primary care providers across the country, access to healthcare has become increasingly difficult. That’s why Bronson has opened two new family medicine practices within the last year: one in Battle Creek and one in Marshall. These two practices will help alleviate the shortage of family medicine doctors in our local communities.
Why is there a shortage? “Baby boomers are getting older and require additional care. Many providers are also retiring, and fewer doctors are choosing to specialize in primary care,” says Dr. Gianna Service of Bronson Family Medicine – Helmer Rd. in Battle Creek. “This means there are fewer providers to keep up with the growing number of patients who need a doctor. Our new practices were built to make it easier for people to receive primary care in the Battle Creek and Marshall areas.”
Why is it important to have a primary care doctor? Benefits include:
- Better access to care: Strep throat? Flu? Ear infection? When you have an established primary care provider, you can typically get an appointment same-day or next day. This helps cut back on costlier visits to the emergency department to receive basic care for you or your child.
- Being familiar with your family history: Family medicine doctors can provide care for everyone in your family, from birth to old age. This allows them to have a bigger picture of your health so they can develop the best care plan for you.
- Access to specialists: Having an established family medicine doctor gives you access to all of the specialists at Bronson that require a referral. Your primary care provider can recommend and connect you with a specialist when you have a heart, lung, brain, spine, digestive or other condition that needs treatment.
How do you know if you should choose an internal medicine or family medicine provider?
“Internal medicine doctors focus more on specialized care for patients, 18 years or older, with chronic or complex conditions,” says Dr. Jamie Longhurst, of Bronson Family Medicine - Marshall. “On the other hand, family medicine doctors are able to treat pediatric and adult patients, allowing us to get a full snapshot of the family’s health. This is one of the many aspects I enjoy about family medicine— being able to treat the family as a whole.”
Like all Bronson medical practices, Bronson Family Medicine uses the Epic electronic health record system. Patients benefit by accessing their health information in Bronson MyChart to:
- View test results: These are available to the patient as soon as they’re made available to the provider. As a parent, you can also view your child’s health information and test results.
- Refill prescriptions: No need to call the office or the pharmacy. Login to MyChart and request a refill online.
- Schedule appointments: Need to schedule an appointment for a back to school physical or vaccine? You can do this online, too.
- Ask your doctor a question: If something comes up after your doctor’s visit, you forgot to ask a question, or you’re experiencing a new symptom, you can send your doctor an e-mail message.
MyChart is also beneficial for Bronson providers, connecting them all to one medical record which gives them a complete overview of your health and allows them to develop a coordinated care plan to fit your needs.
Both of Bronson’s new Family Medicine practices have unique features to help make visits to the office more efficient. For example, the office in Battle Creek is designed according to Lean principles and laid out to reduce patient wait times. The design improves workflow and communication allowing each patient more time with their provider. In Marshall, plans are currently underway to have lab services available to patients. This means that when a patient needs a blood draw or other tests, they can be done at the same location instead of having to travel to the hospital.
Both practices offer extended hours to work with your busy schedule and are accepting new patients. Click here to learn more about Bronson Family Medicine – Helmer Rd., and here to learn more about Bronson Family Medicine – Marshall.