Prevention measures can help keep you healthy by early detection of diseases or conditions and easier treatment. Such measures include screening tests and vaccinations.
Under the Affordable Care Act, private health plans must cover without cost-sharing many preventive services that are recommended for children, such as well-child visits, immunizations and behavioral assessments.
Immunizations, or vaccines, are shots that provide long-term protection from diseases like tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and influenza. Immunizations utilize your body’s natural defense mechanisms to shield you against illness – helping you live a longer and healthier life.
Vaccines use weakened or killed versions of disease-causing germs to stimulate your immune system and produce antibodies against them, along with other immune responses that strengthen it and build your immunity. Should the real disease-causing germ enter the body, your immunity system will work to fight off infection and protect you.
Additionally, certain vaccines provide protection for everyone around you through herd immunity – this can be especially helpful for infants or people with compromised immune systems who are at greater risk from certain illnesses.
Cancer screening aims to detect cancer at its early stage when treatment options are most likely successful and to reduce deaths from cancer by discovering cancerous tumors when they are smaller and less likely to spread. Screening tests also may play a vital role in saving lives from cancer by finding them sooner.
However, screening tests can lead to unnecessary medical treatments or false reassurances. For instance, screening tests can find slow-growing cancers which would never present symptoms during your life and this is known as overdiagnosis – leading to painful, stressful, and costly medical procedures which you might not need at all.
Medical experts believe that many medical conditions can be avoided through early diagnosis and intervention, with clinical preventive services like vaccinations, screening tests and counseling being effective at mitigating illness, disability, early death and healthcare costs. Unfortunately most health care providers do not routinely offer such preventive health measures – possibly because they receive more payment to treat disease than prevent it.
Blood Pressure Screenings
Blood pressure screenings measure the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can damage your body over time and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease and other health complications. Regular screenings help detect this condition early so lifestyle changes or medication can be implemented quickly to treat it effectively. You can have your blood pressure tested either at Southcoast Wellness Van or your physician’s office.
An emphasis on prevention in healthcare means more people can avoid serious illness and live longer, healthier lives. Preventive services like vaccinations, physicals, and screenings may save your life; many of which are covered by your health insurance provider – so make sure you take full advantage of them!
Tobacco Use Screenings
Screening for tobacco use is an essential preventive health measure as tobacco smoking dramatically increases the risk of serious medical conditions like heart and lung conditions. Furthermore, screening can assist programs in connecting their participants/patients to cessation interventions that will assist in breaking this harmful habit.
This study conducted a cross-sectional survey among 80 centers that provide behavioral health patients health care. It discovered that mandated tobacco use screenings were more likely to occur when centers offered hard stops or alerts in their electronic health record system and providers received training on conducting such screenings.
However, these findings indicate that further work needs to be done to address under-screening in behavioral health treatment settings. An increase in tobacco use screening visits and patients identified for smoking will help decrease morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco usage; thus future studies should explore methods for increasing uptake of key practices within treatment environments serving those with behavioral health needs.