February 14, 2017 – Primary Care


Anchor lead: If you don’t have a regular primary care doc maybe you should, Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who have a regular primary care physician visit the emergency department and are admitted less often to the hospital than those who don’t, a recent British Medical Journal study found. Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says there’s no question that solid primary care is of great benefit to both patients and the healthcare system.

Klag: Robust primary healthcare systems are associated with less use of resources and better outcomes, and lower mortality rates. Because if your doctor knows you and you have a relationship and knows that this is something where you don’t need to go to the emergency room because this happens and this is what I can do over the phone for you. That’s part of the reason why they got admitted less because when there’s uncertainty about what’s going on with the patient you often then send them to the emergency room or the hospital to get evaluated but if you know the patient well there’s less uncertainty.  :28

Klag says the role of primary care docs is even more critical when patients develop more than one medical problem and can be complicated to care for well. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.