Diagnostic care definition: What makes it different?

January 22, 2021 at 8:00 AM
Diagnostic care definition: What makes it different?

At Outreach Primary Care and Wellness Services, we provide a wide range of medical services, such as preventive care, annual wellness exams, and diagnostic care. Together, all of these services can help patients live happier, healthier lives - but how do they differ?

In this quick guide, we’re going over the diagnostic care definition, and we’re explaining how this type of medical care is used.

Diagnostic care definition

Diagnostic care involves evaluating a patient’s current or ongoing complaints, reviewing new symptoms, and following up on abnormal tests. Although the definition of diagnostic care may differ depending on who you ask, the ultimate goal of this medical service is to rule out other conditions, provide a certain diagnosis, and get the patient started on an appropriate treatment plan for their illness or condition.

When is diagnostic care used?

Diagnostic care is typically used when a patient starts exhibiting symptoms, or when they have abnormal results after undergoing a routine test. For example, let’s say you start experiencing a burning sensation when urinating. You’d likely make an appointment right away so you can get to the bottom of the problem.

Your doctor will then use diagnostic care to diagnose you as soon as possible. This includes a review of your symptoms and testing, such as urinalysis. If it’s determined that you have a UTI (urinary tract infection), then you’ll be prescribed antibiotics. If you don’t have a UTI, then further tests and evaluations will be conducted to provide you with an accurate diagnosis. For very difficult cases, specialists may be brought in.

Diagnostic care isn’t always used when patients have a sudden onset of symptoms. This approach to medical care may also be used when abnormalities are noticed on routine tests. For instance, if you are found to have nutritional deficiencies after a blood test, then your doctor will likely prescribe you supplements, and your deficiency will be monitored until it resolves.

Preventive care definition

After reviewing the diagnostic care definition above, you can probably guess what preventive care is. In simple terms, preventive care focuses on preventing - rather than diagnosing - health conditions and illnesses. This may include immunizations, annual wellness exams, routine lab tests, screenings, and more.

When is preventive care used?

Preventive care is typically used anytime you schedule a routine visit with your doctor. This includes yearly physicals, Pap tests, mammograms, blood pressure checks, colonoscopies, and more.

Some of these tests can be used as diagnostic care in certain situations. For instance, a patient with a history of rectal bleeding may need to undergo a colonoscopy to investigate further. However, when people reach a certain age, routine colonoscopies are also recommended, regardless of symptoms. If the patient has no history of symptoms and they are simply getting a routine check-up due to their age, then the test would be preventive.

Contact us for compassionate diagnostic care in Maryland

The medical team at Outreach Primary Care and Wellness Services provides compassionate diagnostic care that you can rely on. Whether you have been feeling ill, or you suddenly have troubling symptoms, we are here for you. Our medical professionals will take the time to listen to your concerns, and then provide you with an effective treatment plan.

We serve many areas throughout Maryland, including Frederick, Bowie, Cumberland, and Annapolis. Contact us today to make an appointment.