4 Ways To Empower Yourself With Your Healthcare
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As intimidating as healthcare is to the average person, it’s important to remember that patients really do have the final say when it comes to their own healthcare. In fact, it is completely against medical ethics for patients to not be fully informed about their health and their options. Here are four of the best ways to empower yourself with your own healthcare.
1. Shop Around For The Right Doctor
Just because you have been going to a doctor for years does not mean that is your only option. One of the things you have the right to do and should do is shop around for a doctor that meets your needs and that you genuinely trust and like. For example, other doctors might have a personality that better appeals to you, have more suitable office hours for your schedule or may take your insurance. With 75% of Netflix views being driven by recommendation, you can easily see the recommendations are of high value in today’s society. Do your research online and ask trusted friends who their favorite healthcare professionals are. This can help you find the right fit for yourself and your needs.
2. Work With A Health Informatics Professional
There is an entire growing field out there of healthcare IT professionals who gather and use healthcare information in order to provide patients with higher quality, higher efficiency, lower cost and greater availability of healthcare. It is where healthcare and information technology intersect, and health informatics professionals acquire, analyze and access considerable amounts of digital data for the benefit of patients. Patients should seek out the aid of a health informatics professional if they want further information regarding their options for healthcare.
3. Get Second Opinions
Another key way for patients to empower themselves with their own healthcare is to get second opinions, particularly from specialists. This might involve traveling to a larger city, but it can be worth it if a different doctor gives you a better answer or is able to correctly diagnose the problem. You may also end up liking the other doctor much better or procedures might end up costing you less money.
4. Do Your Research Ahead Of Time And Ask Questions
Being informed and asking the right questions are key to getting the most out of your healthcare experience with your doctor. It is not in your best interest to sit passively and allow your doctor to make all the decisions for you – doctors are not correct all the time. Many people use the internet and sites such as WebMD, which had 122,000,000 visits in May of 2017, to learn about conditions and procedures before visiting their doctor. On the other hand, avoid getting confrontational with your doctor regarding a medication or a diagnosis. They have the training and experience you do not. Find the delicate balance of informing yourself and taking the advice of trained medical professionals.
Patients do have many means with which to empower themselves when it comes to their healthcare, even though many do not take advantage of them for a variety of reasons. Take the advice of the above suggestions and you will be better equipped to take charge of your own healthcare. Doing so will ultimately make you happier, healthier, more knowledgeable and more in control of the care you receive.