Most providers believe that they have a full view of their patients and can serve them based on that view. However, there are key factors that should be considered when assessing your patients, and it includes much more than their vital signs.

Many uninsured and under-insured patients will frequent walk-in services without establishing a relationship with a primary care physician.  How can a medical practice provide better care to this patient? By engaging them to get a better assessment of their overall health needs.  Maybe he has a family history of high cholesterol and strokes and complained of stroke-like symptoms during his last visit. He was sent home with instructions to follow-up with his primary care physician but didn’t have one, which is why he keeps presenting at the walk-in site. A few extra minutes to gather more information, including asking the questions, “do you have a primary care doctor? Are you having challenges paying for your medication?”. This provides an opportunity to collect additional data and establish a lasting relationship. Then you could offer him resources to acquire quality health insurance or discounted prescriptions. Your goal is to serve your patients fully by having a 360-degree view. This view not only ensures your patients will receive quality care; in turn, it will keep your patients confident in your services and make them more likely to seek ongoing care with you.  

Here are four key drivers for providing quality healthcare to patients

1. Health Status. Does the patient have any pre-existing conditions?  Is there a family history of any health conditions? 

2. Services have they received at your facility before, and what services have they received in the past at other facilities?

3. Insurance. What type of insurance does the patient have? Do they know what benefits in the past at other facilities? If a patient doesn’t have insurance, you may be able to help them acquire coverage. 

4. Social Determinants. Where does your patient live and work? What amenities are available in their community, and how does this affect their lifestyle?  These factors can impact a person’s health and may dictate how services are provided