Do You Offer Pre-Travel Health Plans?

Written by on November 1, 2016 in Practice tips - No comments
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 Easy Way to Attract More Patients, Benefiting Everyone

As the holidays and winter months loom ahead, many families are deciding where they want to go for vacation.  Many employees are likewise planning their trips before the end of the business year. Everyone is thinking of the fun they will have but not of the health challenges that may face them.

This is where you come in, playing a key role.

Why not be known as the travel health expert in your community? While your colleagues also do examinations, you can be the one to claim that position- that is assuming you want to grow your business.

Here’s why it makes sense

You already:

  • Perform complete physical examinations
  • Give routine vaccinations
  • Have an EHR that can allow medical access remotely

Your digital records are already stored securely and are HIPAA compliant.  They can be accessible all over the globe through the cloud including vaccination histories.

Think about it. Everyone knows that getting sick while traveling can not only bring an end to fun but can lead to dire consequences. Quality healthcare may not be readily available at their destination so preventative care is the best treatment for safer travel. It would be prudent to plan ahead and get that pre-travel exam.

As a health professional, it’s up to you to point this out and educate the patient on how to reduce the possibility of illness.  Explain how a thorough medical evaluation assures health overseas by diagnosing and thereby treating unrecognized medical conditions.

Advise a travel physical examination for not only the business travelers but also their family in their community. Post it in your office and your neighborhood circulars.

You are also positioning yourself to perform pre-travel for:

  • Families going abroad or to risky areas
  • Business travelers
  • Employees of large corporations where employers want multiple exams to be performed on site
  • Students
  • Volunteers
  • Prospective adoptive parents
  • Missionaries
  • Disaster relief workers

Point out to employers that by referring their employees to you, they decrease the workload of their human resources department, ridding the need to coordinate paper medical records from providers across the community or across the globe.

These people may not be current patients to your practice but with your winning bedside manner, may have them coming to you on a regular basis. This includes family and friends- an exponential growth.

What to add to your repertoire:
  • Provide disease and illness preventive plans
  • How and when to evacuate if healthcare is unavailable
  • Provide travel-specific vaccines e.g. Hepatitis A&B, Yellow Fever, Encephalitis, Typhoid
  • Formulate a pre-travel questionnaire and planning guide including travel advice
  • Make first aid kit suggestions
Travel Supplies

The travel supplies that you may suggest:

  • Sunscreen
  • Travel compression socks
  • Mosquito Protection
    • Insect repellent
    • External analgesic
    • Permethrin
    • Cream for itches and rashes
    • Mosquito netting
  • First Aid Kit
    • Band-Aids
    • Bandages
    • Hydrocortisone Cream
    • Antibiotic Ointment
    • Alcohol wipes
    • Gauze
    • Steristrips
    • Thermometer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medications
    • Antacids
    • Drugs for Diarrhea (lomotil, diphenoxylate-atropine oral, loperamide, paregoric oral, kaopectate)
    • Treatment for constipation (Dulcolax, Colace, Miralax, Metamucil, Milk of Magnesia oral)
    • NSAIDs for muscle aches, headaches and general analgesia
    • Antibiotics such as Tetracycline or Doxycycline
    • Motion Sickness prevention
    • Altitude sickness prevention
    • Epi Pen if allergies are an issue

Once you have devised a strategy, questionnaires, handouts and list of vaccinations or access to needed vaccinations and boosters for various locations, it will become second nature for you.

As a physician you can feel happy that you have assured your patient health in travel.  As the patient, you can go with a merry heart, knowing that a healthy and fun-filled vacation awaits you.

By Barbara Hales, M.D.
www.thewritetreatment.com

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