How to stay current in healthcare



How to stay current in healthcare

Today’s health care is rapidly changing and keeping up with those changes are often a challenge.

The chances are great that you and your family may have many health care providers. The family practice physician who takes care of your general health maintenance, now depends on those physicians that have advanced knowledge and specialization in an area of care that best meets your needs.

Please feel free to contact me for any information needs. I may be able to direct you to the appropriate expertise.

Our health care system often seems complex to the average health care consumer. It is important for all consumers to take the responsibility to educate themselves and seek out information to meet their own needs.

This guide is designed to provide information that may be helpful to you in your pursuit of that knowledge and assist you in maintaining your optimum wellness. This guide and any information provided is not meant to replace your physician’s care and expertise.


Instructions

Step 1

Understanding how the health care system works

As health care consumers we depend on the competence of our professional heath care providers to assess our health status, and if needed use diagnostic steps to determine the best course of self care or management or proper course of treatment if we are ill.

Triage in health care and emergency facilities often frustrates health care consumers. » I waited two hours before they took care of my broken thumb » is just one of the many comments and possibilities in a busy emergency room. Caring for a patient who has a life threatening condition always comes first.

Emergent care is of the highest priority and always takes precedence over less acute situations.

Step 2

Medical terminology

During the busy business of delivering health care, physicians and staff often use medical terminology that seems like a foreign language to a consumer. If they slip into medical terms you are not familiar with, always ask your health care provider to clarify something that you don’t understand. It is their responsibility to make sure you understand everything regarding your care.

Step 3

Be prepared for an emergency in advance

Keep your health information with you at all times. Emergency contact numbers, current illness, any allergies and any medications you take.

Often a cardiologist can give you a copy of your EKG baseline that can fit in your wallet.

If you have metal implants or stents keep information regarding them available along side your insurance cards and emergency contact numbers.

Step 4

You are your doctor’s partner in managing your health care.

Your doctor is clinically prepared to care for the human body and its disease entities. However, every patient is unique, and that is why practicing medicine is referred to as an art rather than a science.

A doctor needs to know more about you as a patient. One example, is the kind of a lifestyle that you live and whether your illness or condition warrants changes to maintain good health.

Your doctor needs to know what care you would want if the quality of your life took a change during an acute event, such as a life threatening injury or illness.

A living will and power of attorney are critical to decision making within the health care system. Expect to be asked for that information along with your health care insurance or payment plan for the cost of your health care.

Your health care provider also needs to know if you live alone, or have family. So that considerations can be given regarding out patient care or if social service support needs to be made available.


Things Needed
• During an acute health crisis a family member or friend should accompany you for support.
• Have with you current information regarding medical conditions, allergies, and medications.

Tips & Warnings
• Be aware of what the difference is between emergency and routine medical care that is needed.
• The delivery of health care is very methodical during a physical assessment.
• Your are your own advocate in your care and that of your family.
• Take advantages of available services within community and local hospitals.
• Patient education and assessments for social service needs are part of health care today.

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