For Family Practice Doctors: Test Your Allergic Patients In-house

Roughly 20 percent of Americans have allergies. That means that if you are a primary care physician and see 20 patients per day, roughly four of your patients will be affected by allergy symptoms.

Family Doctors Can Test Allergic Patients In-House

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You can understand a lot about patients’ allergies by asking about the nature of their allergic reactions. What symptoms do they experience? How often do the symptoms occur? How long do they endure? A basic physical exam can also help you gauge the severity of a person’s allergies. When you look at the lining of their nose, for example, you may detect telltale nasal inflammation that indicates allergic rhinitis.

If allergies seem to be a credible concern, an allergy test is in order. You may be used to referring your allergic patients to an allergist for testing, but primary care physicians can now order an allergy test kit and conduct testing in their offices.

There are a number of different types of allergy tests, including blood and skin tests. Skin scratch testing (also known as intradermal testing) is considered to be the most accurate method by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

A turnkey allergy test program will include clinical training to teach medical assistants to administer the test. The test kit comes with a pronged device. You can dip each prong into wells containing different allergen extracts. With several quick applications of the device (usually on the arm), you can test your patients for dozens of allergens. You can then wait for the patients’ sensitivities to develop in the form of raised red bumps on the arm that you can measure and record.

Skin scratch tests take 15 to 30 minutes per patient.

AllergyEasy offers the following test kits:

  • Inhalant Allergy Test Kit –this kit tests for 60 inhalant allergies, including pollens (trees, grass, weeds), molds, dust, cats, and dogs.
  • Food Allergy Test Kit – this kit tests for 40 food allergies (including milk, wheat, and nut allergies)
  • Combination Test Kit – this kit screens for 40 of the most common inhalant and food allergens.

Testing in-house allows you to help your allergic patients while increasing your medical practice revenue. Primary care physicians can couple their allergy testing with a turnkey allergy treatment program that will allow them to prescribe allergy immunotherapy for lasting allergy relief.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.