Why Should My Child Have a Primary Care Provider?
The kind of home you live in has a roof, doors, windows and furniture. Similarly to your home, the medical home has many different parts. A medical home is made of the patient and family, health care providers (doctors, nurses and therapists), insurance companies and community partners (schools and community resources).
Remember that the medical home is not a single person, place or building. The medical home is an approach for taking the best care of your child and family. The medical home needs someone to keep all of the parts moving in the right direction. The primary care provider keeps all the different parts of the medical home working together smoothly like a band leader who helps lots of different instruments play together in tune.
The primary care provider is the health provider that your child sees for most of their health needs. The primary care provider will take care of your child when they are both sick and well. A primary care provider can be a doctor, nurse or nurse practitioner. The primary care provider is a first contact for your family when you need help with your child. If the primary care provider cannot solve your problem, they can connect you with specialists or community agencies.
The primary care provider helps keep your medical home running smoothly. For this reason, you should build a strong relationship with your primary care provider. You should use the same primary care provider every time. Sometimes emergencies happen, so you want to make sure your primary care provider knows your family and your child's history. If you think your child's life is in danger, you should take them to an emergency department. Sometimes, however, you should talk to your primary care provider first before seeking care for your child. Your primary care provider might be able to answer your question over the phone or might want you to bring your child to their clinic for a visit. Your primary care provider will know your family and all the important parts of your child's health history, which will help your primary care provider work with you to make good decisions for your child.