What Is Medical Treatment?

medical treatment

Medical treatment includes all procedures and interventions undertaken to cure, relieve or prevent illness, disease or injury. This encompasses a wide range of health care services including laboratory diagnostic tests, surgical interventions and nonsurgical therapeutic procedures such as massage, acupuncture and homeopathy. In addition, medical treatment may involve a wide variety of non-traditional therapies like dietary manipulation and the use of natural herbal remedies.

In workers’ compensation, claims administrators are required to authorize and pay for “reasonable” medical treatments that are required to cure or relieve the effects of work-related injuries or illnesses. Typically, this means treatment that follows the guidelines in scientifically based medical treatment utilization schedules.

A physician must always seek the patient’s informed consent for all medical treatments unless the patient lacks capacity to make an informed decision. When a patient lacks capacity, physicians must attempt to contact the person(s) eligible to serve as surrogate decision-makers and record those attempts in the patient’s medical records. In some emergency situations, where the potential for harm is imminent and a decision must be made quickly, a physician may initiate an intervention without obtaining prior informed consent from the patient or his surrogate. However, physicians should always document the reasons for initiating treatment without prior informed consent and obtain written documentation from the patient or his surrogate at the next opportunity to re-establish the informed consent process.

Other types of health care services are provided by allied health professionals and community-based organizations. For example, some allied health professionals work in primary care and provide services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. They may also offer home care, long-term care and assisted living. Other allied health professionals are involved in community-based programs such as needle exchange programs for the prevention of transmission of communicable diseases. These professionals may also be involved in community-based rehabilitation programs and counseling.

The field of epidemiology is the study of disease and its distribution in the population. It is the basis for much of public health policy and practice. It is important for physicians to understand how to interpret and apply the results of epidemiological studies to individual patients.

Surgical care to repair or change the function of an organ, body part or limb. It can include amputations, reconstructive surgery and spinal implants. Nonsurgical therapeutic procedures, such as the application of cold compresses or nonrigid back supports, are also considered medical treatments. A doctor can perform both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures during a single operation, for example by inserting a slender viewing tube (endoscope) into the body to allow for a visual inspection and removing a sample of tissue for laboratory testing. Medical treatments can also include pharmacogenetic testing, a technique that determines the way your genes affect your response to medication. This helps doctors choose the right medications and dosages for you. It also reduces drug interactions and side effects. This is especially useful for people with a number of chronic conditions.

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