Continuity of Care: What It Means and Why It’s Important

No one wants to be sidelined with an injury, but the unfortunate reality is that they happen. The body is not indestructible, and when it encounters too much wear-and-tear, overuse, or trauma, injuries can still occur despite our best efforts.

The best way to deal with injuries is obviously to prevent them from happening in the first place. This means staying active and keeping the body strong and flexible. But again, injuries can still happen. And when they do, it’s important to seek out proper treatment so you can heal properly—so that you can return to your sport, training, or normal routine as soon as possible.

But what is the best way to treat an injury?

Well, that’s a tough question to answer. The answer, of course, depends on the severity. Every injury is different, and therefore requires a different approach. However, one thing that is always important is continuity of care.

What does “Continuity of Care” mean?

Continuity of care means seeing the same provider or care team for more than one visit, ideally at the same facility. In general, it’s best to seek out continuity of care whenever it’s reasonable to do so.

Professional athletes frequently have a team of specialists that they see on a regular basis to ensure they’re performing at their best. But even weekend warriors and those enjoying an active lifestyle can benefit from continuity of care.

Why is continuity of care so important?

When you’re able to see the same provider(s) for multiple needs, they get to know you—and your health history—better. This means they can provide better, more tailored care.

Just as importantly, continuity of care can lead to better outcomes. Study after study has shown that patients who receive sustained continuity of care tend to have fewer hospitalizations and emergency visits; not to mention higher patient satisfaction rates overall. (1)

Continuity of care simply makes life easier. You don’t have to keep track of multiple facilities and appointments. You can build a relationship with your provider(s), and they can get to know your preferences and needs.

When you’re an athlete, this is particularly important, as your provider can develop a better understanding of your performance goals and areas for improvement, and help you stay on track.

Continuity of care has been associated with improved outcomes consistently, despite variation in how the concept is defined, interpreted and assessed. (2) Naturally, it’s not always possible or feasible to seek continuity of care in an emergency. If you’re in the middle of a night game and you experience a severe injury that can’t wait for treatment, it’s not always practical to seek out the same provider you always use. But when it is reasonable to do so, it’s always better to try for continuity of care.

For injuries that don’t require a trip to the ER, or for after-care/recovery, muscle soreness, chronic pain—even for ongoing performance, health, recovery, physiotherapy (3), and rehabilitative care—being able to see the same provider(s) for several issues can make a big difference.

Professional athletes (and their teams, coaches, and families) understand the importance of continuity of care. But that doesn’t mean it should be reserved for those at the top of their game. Athletes, weekend warriors, and active individuals alike can benefit from seeing the same provider(s) for their care.

The pros may have an edge when it comes to injury prevention and treatment—it’s time for the rest of us to catch on.

Continuum Health Centre in Victoria

At Continuum Health Centre in Victoria, BC, our integrated, client-centric approach means we’re with you every step of the way—from injury prevention, to treatment, and beyond.

Our Integrated Support Team (IST) offers a complete continuity of care solution, whether you’re an elite athlete or just trying to stay active and healthy. We take pride in offering holistic support services from highly accredited chiropractors, physiotherapists, athletic therapists, clinical counsellors, registered dietitians, and mental performance consultants.

When an active individual becomes injured, our practitioner-performance team develops a unique, personalized training plan to help them relieve pain, improve mobility, and recover quickly and safely—and get back to doing what they love.

Call Continuum Health Centre in Victoria at 778-433-7737—or click here to book an appointment with our care team.


  1. Cabana MD, Jee SH. Does continuity of care improve patient outcomes?. J Fam Pract. 2004;53(12):974-980.
  2. Claire L Jackson, Lauren Ball. Continuity of care: Vital, but how do we measure and promote it?. Australian Journal of General Practice. October 2018, doi: 10.31128/AJGP-05-18-4568
  3. John Magel, Jaewhan Kim, Anne Thackeray, Charles Hawley, Sterling Petersen, Julie M Fritz, Associations Between Physical Therapy Continuity of Care and Health Care Utilization and Costs in Patients With Low Back Pain: A Retrospective Cohort Study, Physical Therapy, Volume 98, Issue 12, December 2018,