PREVENTIVE HEALTHCARE IN ACTION: PRACTICAL TIPS EVERY CLINICIAN SHOULD KNOW
- Posted by: loga
- Category: Healthcare Profession
Healthcare is sometimes perceived as only taking a responsive action to treat an illness, disease, or injury. While treatment is a major part of medicine, there are also physicians who place a focus on helping prevent illness and disease.
Preventive medicine is when these physicians work together for both treatment and prevention. There are many medical subspecialties or areas of practice that focus narrowly on a single age group, ailment, or body part, but preventive medicine doesn’t work within these same boundaries, making it an extremely broad field.
Malaysia is among the top Asian countries with extremely high child obesity rates. Besides that, heart diseases and mental health issues are also prevalent. While some of these cases are due to genetics, most are a result of long-term neglect and poor lifestyle choices.
Read how you can utilize preventive healthcare to help patients switch from being reactive to taking proactive measures for their health and wellbeing.
1. Communication is Key in Preventive Healthcare
At the primary level, your main job is to be an educator about preventive measures such as vaccination. One practical tip to keep in mind is that the way you communicate to patients about immunity is key. Studies have shown that while anti-vax groups can influence patients, they ultimately will listen to their doctor’s advice. Doctors must communicate their genuine belief in the benefits of vaccination even with non-verbal cues. By beginning the conversation about vaccination with a recommendation (instead of an open question), chances of acceptance will be higher. However, to understand the push-back, it may help to gather as much information as you can about their sceptical attitude.
2. Check-in on Check-ups
Since specialists tend to schedule patients for appointments happening months later, patients tend to reschedule. Some might even forget about it altogether! This is where you can play a role in making sure your patients don’t miss out on important screenings. Sometimes patients may refuse to follow up on an issue with a specialist out of fear, embarrassment, or financial difficulties. As their physician, you can help by directing them to more affordable medical services or by clearing any misinformation. Discovering barriers to screenings and tracking their appointment updates is vital to providing the best preventive healthcare.
3. Don’t Ignore Mental Health in Preventive Healthcare
With the Coronavirus rampaging our nation and the lockdown, the public’s mental health is at an all-time low. New cases and declining finances are among the things that plague the minds of restless Malaysians under lockdown. When not managed properly, a patient could develop a serious mental disorder.
Patients often won’t know a serious issue has developed until it’s too late. It takes a sincere conversation with someone to catch the signs of internal struggles early on. While you may not be an expert, you can encourage an open dialogue by asking how they’re doing in life. If patients show distress over issues like finances or employment termination, they may be indicators of declining mental health. You can help by directing them to a trained therapist. Always prepare to offer free alternatives to patients who cannot afford therapy.
One of the best things you can do is to increase awareness of the importance of preventive healthcare. If your schedule permits, reach out to medical schools to conduct a workshop or online seminar. In addition, you could advocate for better community resources so more people can have access to excellent preventive healthcare services.