Deciding on the Scope of Medical Procedures in Primary Care Practice

Deciding on the Scope of Medical Procedures in Primary Care Practice

In the past, primary care practices had crash carts that contained medications and equipment for advanced resuscitation in case of a medical emergency. However, the infrequency of such events made these carts unnecessary and they eventually became obsolete. Although patients in ambulatory primary care practices may require emergency care, having the capacity for advanced medical interventions or life-saving procedures may not make sense. Today, primary care practices focus on stabilizing patients until paramedics arrive.

Expanding the Scope of Medical Procedures within Primary Care Practices

Primary care practices can handle many medical procedures, including wound care, suturing, and joint injections. However, it can be challenging to decide on the scope of procedures to provide, as some medical procedures may be better performed in specialized departments. For example, flexible sigmoidoscopies were once performed in primary care practices, but are now localized in gastroenterology departments.

Primary care practices can work collaboratively with specialized departments to provide routine procedures and help clear backlogs of appointments. However, it is important to ensure that any procedures performed in primary care practices are safe, easy to do, and beneficial to patient care. Primary care practices should also consider offering new and better ways to care for patients, such as remote patient monitoring and point-of-care ultrasound.

To expand the scope of medical procedures, primary care practices need support, resources, training, and education. Additionally, primary care practices need to ensure that they do not overstep their boundaries and infringe on the work of specialized departments. Overall, it is important to consider the benefits and limitations of providing medical procedures in primary care practices and work collaboratively with other medical departments to provide the best possible care for patients.


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