By David Feig, MD
If you’ve been around Vera very long, you’ve likely heard about our Annual Whole Health Evaluation.
The Annual Whole Health Evaluation is made up of four key components:
1) Biometric Screening:
The first thing that we typically do is conduct a biometric screening. This could take place on-site at a work event. You can also do it as part of your wellness evaluation in the clinic.
We do a biometric screening so that we can do a broad check of the most important lab values. If someone has problems with blood sugar (which could signal diabetes), blood pressure or cholesterol, those are important to know. Blood pressure, even when it is quite high, rarely has any symptoms. That is why it is referred to as “the silent killer.” A lot of people assume that they would feel bad if something was wrong, but with blood pressure, you usually do not. We can check these important values quickly, and give patients results in a few minutes.
2) Health Assessment (HRA):
We ask you to fill out a health assessment (HRA) before you come in, or even here in the clinic. It gives you a chance to take a moment and identify things you are concerned about, such as any major health issues, or things you want to do to be healthier – like more sleep, or manage your stress more effectively.
The care team reviews the assessment and highlights those topics in the provider or coaching visit. We want to identify areas where you might be concerned and also get a feeling for how ready you are to change those areas.
3) Wellness Evaluation/Provider Visit:
After the bioscreen, we want you to come in for an annual wellness evaluation so that we can give you a more comprehensive evaluation and review. During this visit, we’ll dig into the meaning of your biometric screening results. You’ll also have plenty of time to talk with your provider about any concerns.
A lot of the visits in today’s medical system are very rushed and limited. We schedule an hour for this appointment – not so that we have more time for the exam, but to give you time to ask all the questions you may have.
At Vera, we believe the patient is more than just a collection of lab values. We try to treat the patient as a collective person—and to do so we focus on stress, lifestyle issues, diet, exercise, sleep, and more. In doing so, we can highlight potential health issues. Often patients do not have the time to raise their concerns in a shorter visit. We want to give you that time to explore and share your concerns
4) Health Coaching:
Telling a patient to lose weight, exercise more, to stop drinking, or stop smoking – these are just words, and they are not very effective when it comes to changing behavior. True behavior change is a weak point in the traditional medical system. Health coaching is patient directed, and Vera health coaches work with you on the behaviors you want to change. We will not tell you what to do and follow up again a year later. We are not just identifying concerns, but also working with you to manage them.
Why Should I get an Annual Whole Health Evaluation?
People engaged in their health are going to be healthier long term. The reality is that you only have one body, and you need to take care of it.
Having a relationship with your provider is important because when something does come up, you want to know where to go. We want to do our best in helping you engage and take care of yourself. At Vera, you can be part of a system that keeps you healthy and does not just engage when something is wrong.
People don’t feel like they have much control in the current medical system. At Vera, we focus on empowering our patients. We’re not in a position to tell you what to do – we want to work with you and ensure that you are as informed as possible before you move on to the next step.