When patients visit their doctors for the first time, they are inevitably asked to recount their family health history. Although this part of the doctor’s visit might seem tedious, it is an extremely important part of health examinations. Family health history is a great screening tool and vital to assessing each person’s risk for diseases. For years, it has been known that certain chronic conditions, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and rare diseases, such as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, can be inherited and passed along in families. To help patients maintain their health and reduce their risk for serious illnesses, the physicians at HealthCare Partners Nevada recommend all people be informed and knowledgeable about their family’s health history.
In 2004, Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona declared Thanksgiving to be National Family History Day. As families gather for this holiday, HealthCare Partners Nevada encourages people to learn about, discuss and record important details about the medical history of their family members.
Knowing a patient’s family health history is vital to HealthCare Partners’ ability to provide the highest quality of care. All HealthCare Partners patients benefit from the use of electronic medical records that can be accessed by the patient’s health care providers, including each patient’s personal and family health history. This allows for a significantly improved level of coordinated, patient-focused care and serves to reduce waste within the system.
The use of electronic medical records is a vital part of HealthCare Partners’ Total Care Model, a unique, value-based approach to health care that provides a dedicated team of physicians, nurses and other staff members who work together to manage all aspects of patients’ care and overall health, resulting in improved results and lower costs. Readily available access to medical records ensures primary care providers and specialists have the most recent and accurate information about each patient’s health, helping them work in harmony to determine the best course of care.
Taking important steps towards learning about the medical history of each member can help families enjoy long, happy and healthy lives together. For more information about HealthCare Partners and the benefits of the Total Care Model, visit www.hcpnv.com.
Dr. Justin Maxwell is a family practice physician with HealthCare Partners Nevada. He currently sees patients at the HealthCare Partners Fort Apache Clinic located at 4730 Fort Apache Road in Las Vegas. Dr. Maxwell received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Touro University and has been practicing family medicine in Southern Nevada since 2011.