Primary care

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List of terms related to Primary care

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Primary care is a term used for the activity of a health care provider who acts as a first point of consultation for all patients. Generally, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are based in the community, as opposed to the hospital. Alternative names for the field are "general practice" and "family medicine", although the terms are not synonymous.

General practitioners in the United Kingdom are physicians who have completed four to five years of post-medical school training including three to four years based in hospitals and one year attached to a training general practitioner in the community.

Primary care physicians usually include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and at times OB/GYN physicians. It is important to note, however, that the last three of the above specialties are not technically general medicine specialties. These specialties are primary care, but NOT general medicine.

Continuity of care

The importance of continuity of care has been studied in a systematic review[1].

Continuity of care is also important for after hospitalizations and emergency department visits (see hospital readmission). Follow-up visits after emergency department visits may also be important[2].

Frequency of visits

Physicians vary widely in their setting revisit intervals[3].

Shorter revisit intervals is associated with better care of hypertension[4][5] Aand may be associated with better care of diabetes[6].


There is insufficient time in primary care to address

Interventions to improve primary care

Interventions to improve primary care via replacement (clinic-based or home-based) or augmentation have been studied[9].

Consoliding and integrating small practices to larger systems

Primary card practices are shifting to being part of larger systems[10][11].

See also

External links


  1. Baker R, Freeman GK, Haggerty JL, Bankart MJ, Nockels KH (2020). "Primary medical care continuity and patient mortality: a systematic review". Br J Gen Pract. 70 (698): e600–e611. doi:10.3399/bjgp20X712289. PMC 7425204 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32784220 Check |pmid= value (help).
  2. Lin MP, Burke RC, Orav EJ, Friend TH, Burke LG (2020). "Ambulatory Follow-up and Outcomes Among Medicare Beneficiaries After Emergency Department Discharge". JAMA Netw Open. 3 (10): e2019878. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19878. PMC 7547366 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 33034640 Check |pmid= value (help).
  3. Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Wasson JH, Renfrew RA, Welch HG (1999). "Setting the revisit interval in primary care". J Gen Intern Med. 14 (4): 230–5. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.00322.x. PMC 1496560. PMID 10203635.
  4. Turchin A, Goldberg SI, Shubina M, Einbinder JS, Conlin PR (2010). "Encounter frequency and blood pressure in hypertensive patients with diabetes mellitus". Hypertension. 56 (1): 68–74. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.148791. PMC 3752696. PMID 20497991.
  5. Guthmann R, Davis N, Brown M, Elizondo J (2005). "Visit frequency and hypertension". J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 7 (6): 327–32. doi:10.1111/j.1524-6175.2005.04371.x. PMID 16088295.
  6. Asao K, McEwen LN, Crosson JC, Waitzfelder B, Herman WH (2014). "Revisit frequency and its association with quality of care among diabetic patients: Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD)". J Diabetes Complications. 28 (6): 811–8. doi:10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2014.06.006. PMC 4252480. PMID 25044233.
  7. Yarnall KS, Pollak KI, Østbye T, Krause KM, Michener JL (2003). "Primary care: is there enough time for prevention?". Am J Public Health. 93 (4): 635–41. doi:10.2105/ajph.93.4.635. PMC 1447803. PMID 12660210.
  8. Agarwal SD, Basu S, Landon BE (2022). "The Underuse of Medicare's Prevention and Coordination Codes in Primary Care : A Cross-Sectional and Modeling Study". Ann Intern Med. doi:10.7326/M21-4770. PMID 35759760 Check |pmid= value (help).
  9. Edwards ST, Peterson K, Chan B, Anderson J, Helfand M (2017). "Effectiveness of Intensive Primary Care Interventions: A Systematic Review". J Gen Intern Med. 32 (12): 1377–1386. doi:10.1007/s11606-017-4174-z. PMC 5698228. PMID 28924747.
  10. Machta RM, D Reschovsky J, Jones DJ, Kimmey L, Furukawa MF, Rich EC (2020). "Health system integration with physician specialties varies across markets and system types". Health Serv Res. 55 Suppl 3: 1062–1072. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.13584. PMID 33284522 Check |pmid= value (help).
  11. Furukawa MF, Kimmey L, Jones DJ, Machta RM, Guo J, Rich EC (2020). "Consolidation Of Providers Into Health Systems Increased Substantially, 2016-18". Health Aff (Millwood). 39 (8): 1321–1325. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00017. PMID 32744941 Check |pmid= value (help).

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