9 tips to get the best health care

Getting the best possible care is essential to your health. Follow these simple tips to ensure you receive the health care you deserve:

1. Be assertive, not aggressive

Experts suggest overseeing your health by asking about different options, but don’t be overbearing by viewing your doctor as the enemy.

2. Do your homework

Be prepared by bringing a list of questions you’d like to ask. However, prioritize the questions as there may not be time to get through them.

3. Check for mistakes

To avoid potential safety issues, regularly obtain and review your medical records for any errors or omissions.

4. Embrace support staff

Don’t hesitate to interact with nurses and physician assistants. These trained professionals can answer many of your health care questions.

5. Speak up

Repeat aloud what your doctor says, as doing so puts you both on the same page and increases the likelihood you’ll retain the information.

6. Bring an extra set of ears

Have a loved one tag along to your appointments to ask questions, or bring a tape recorder so you can play back the conversation.

7. Give feedback

Share your good and bad experiences. You can’t expect a physician to improve if he or she never knows there’s a problem. Also, submit your reviews on Angie’s List to help others decide if a doctor is right for them.

8. Ask about cost and shop around

Part of being empowered is understanding what you pay for health care and insurance. Discuss test and treatment options to keep costs down or avoid an unexpected bill.

9. Move on

If you aren’t seeing eye to eye with your physician after trying these tips, it may be time to find a new one. Check with your insurance provider and then Angie’s List to find a perfect match.


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Indiana patients take charge of their health care with patient empowerment

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Jennifer Green considers herself an empowered patient and feels it’s important to educate herself. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Jennifer Green considers herself an empowered patient and feels it’s important to educate herself. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Becoming an active and assertive participant in your health care choices, including choosing new doctors, educating yourself and spending wisely, can lead to better patient outcomes.

Comments

This is true of any doctor when you have a specific disease. Ask him/her how many cases of he/she handles in a year. You preferably want someone who is familiar with your problem.

You missed one of the most important questions anyone could ask when dealing with upcoming surgery. Ask the doctor what their history and percentage rate is for post operative infections. Ask the same question about the hospital. These infections kill an appalling number of Americans every year. Still, some doctors and hospitals committed to lowering their numbers have succeeded in achieving significant improvement. By addressing this issue well, you have an opportunity to save lives.

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