Continuity of Care: What does it mean and why should it matter to you?

Continuity of care is a phrase you will hear often around Slocum-Dickson Medical Group, as well as in the media. It is a concept that drives our practice model and has supported our mission of patient center quality care for the past 80 years.  Continuity of care is defined as contact between a patient and their physician over a long period of time.  This repeated contact provides for a stronger patient-provider relationship and a better understanding of viewpoints and priorities.  Studies have shown that continuity of care allows your physician to accumulate knowledge about you and your health history leading to more personalized medical advice and greater satisfaction with your care.

An article recently published in BMJ Open, a peer-reviewed medical journal, identified an even more compelling reason to care about your continuity of care.  According to the article published this past June, continuity of care leads to a longer life.   The study shows that greater continuity of care was significantly associated with lower mortality.  This was true across various populations, health systems and geographic areas.

This means that if you want to live your healthiest, longest life, find a primary care physician.  See that physician when you are ill or have a medical concern and for your routine checkups. As a result, your physician will gain insight about your lifestyle, personality, and overall health allowing them to more quickly identify medical issues if they arise and tailor their guidance specifically to your needs.

To read the full BMJ Open journal article “Continuity of care with doctors- a matter of life and death? A systematic review of continuity of care and mortality”, click on the link below.