Steps to getting good care
A recent NPR article noted that patients are enthusiastic about seeing their own medical records. Despite the fact that patients have the legal right to their records, doctors don’t love this idea. But what’s to hide?
Guess what: YOU are in charge of your healthcare–not them. It’s time to start ENGAGING in your healthcare, and pruning out the doctors and specialists who don’t like it. You’re an intelligent human being and have the right to be treated that way. The doctors job is to explain your challenges, options and risks as explicitly as possible to allow you to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t like to have someone else involved in their practice. That includes the patient.
There are some things that will make your life a lot easier–especially if you are now facing a condition that has (or has potential to be) complicated.
- Start a file on yourself and carry it with you to every healthcare appointment. Instead of waiting for information or test results from another doctor, you can pull it out of your file and proceed.
- When taking blood tests, ask to have a copy sent to you at home. If the lab won’t do that, ask for a photocopy when you are at the doctor’s office to review the results (or when they call with them). Be sure to look them over yourself and ask for any clarifications if something seems out of range or near the edge of normal.
- Keep a notepad with you and be sure to note the names of any conditions, procedures, medications or just take notes for things you need to remember–like symptoms to look for, or the plan for dealing with a health situation.
These are critical, but a Dec. 2007 article from O! Magazine called “How to Train Your Doctor” is an awesome primer for taking control of your healthcare. Make it a resolution to be the driver of your health instead of the passenger!