Smart ER: Are You Providing Yourself With Fractured Care?

| 2 min read

If you’ve been following Smart ER in this space … and you should be … you know that we place finding a primary care physician above all other suggestions on preparing for illness and injury.
Dr. Donald S. Beam
But, don’t just take our word for it.
We sat down to talk about Smart ER with Dr. Donald S. Beam, Blue Cross Complete’s chief medical officer and no stranger to the topic, and this is what he had to say.
High on Dr. Beam’s list of arguments is making sure you don’t find yourself trying to stay healthy while providing yourself with what he aptly calls “fractured care.”
“When you don’t take advantage of the continuity a regular primary care doctor brings, your care just winds of being episodic,” he said. “It’s ‘fractured care.’
“When you just go from one sudden illness or injury to another, you have no preventive care, no physician monitoring all of your care and that means all of your care is just reactive. That’s hardly the best way to achieve good health.”
You have to take a few moments to grasp the nugget of Dr. Beam’s thoughts on primary care and how you should seek help when injury or illness pay a visit to you or your family. At heart, it’s not about cost and it’s certainly not about the quality of medicine today’s hospital emergency departments try to deliver.
It’s about you and your own attitude towards your personal health care.
“It’s so simple,” he said. “Make sure you have a primary care physician and use him or her. Your PCP can best direct your care. Just call your PCP, ask for their direction and go from there.”
Here’s something to motivate you in that direction: A couple of recent studies showed that the more crowded emergency rooms become, the more difficult it becomes for ER staff to provide care. One of those studies was conducted by George Washington University, the other reported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
“Episodic care without the involvement of your PCP is, by definition, of lesser quality,” Dr. Beam said. “When you make the ER your ‘primary care source,’ you don’t receive the care you need, particularly preventive care, and the more expensive it becomes for all of us.”

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.