Having a medical assessment is a little like having an accountant help you do your income taxes. Assessments take a look at the "bottom line" in your health. They are used to evaluate your current health and in the process may help diagnose any problems you may be experiencing.
The three main categories of health assessments are:
- Routine screenings
- Functional health assessments
- Patient Review Instrument (PRI) for entry to a skilled nursing facility (nursing home)
What's in a Routine Screening?
A routine screen involves looking for a specific problem, condition or disease. Some screenings check for diseases that can affect anyone, such as skin cancer. Others, such as for tuberculosis, are recommended only if you have certain known risk factors.
What's in a Functional Assessment?
In a functional assessment, doctors evaluate a senior's general health. This assessment could include:
- Health risk appraisal
- Physical examination and physical functioning
- Dementia screening for cognition and mood
- Medication review and counseling including immunization status (influenza, tetanus, pneumococcus)
- Nutrition screening
- Review of social support and lifestyle, including caregivers
What's in a PRI?
PRI stands for Patient Review Instrument. A PRI is mandated by law before any senior can enter a skilled nursing facility. PRI's are valid for 30 days and are used to determine the level of care and the type of facility required.
A PRI assessment is very thorough and includes:
- Medical condition
- Treatments and medications needed
- Special diets or therapies needed
- Physical and mental abilities and limitations
- Ability to perform acts of daily living such as eating, moving and toileting
- Behaviors such as aggressiveness and disruptiveness