Health care is changing quickly. Our health care system has to take care of more people with fewer resources. So it’s up to us to help out as much as we can by being able to talk with our doctors and nurses so they can better understand our health issues and get us the best treatment as soon as possible. You are the common thread as you visit specialist and therapist—so you must keep you own notes and records to ensure everyone along the way has the correct information.
The quality of the health care you receive depends as much on you as it does your doctor. In order to become a patient advocate for yourself and your family you need to do 3 things:
- Develop skills for obtaining the right medical or surgical care.Make sure you know what type of doctor is best for the care you need. As soon as you notice a problem start keeping records of symptoms . Keep written records about when, how long, was there pain and if so how much. Have your symptoms gotten better or worse, what makes your symptoms better or worse?
- Share in every medical decision made by your health care team. Don’t just blindly go through tests and treatment. Understand what the tests should find and what the treatment should do so you can help eliminate unnecessary costs and get on the right treatment more quickly.
- Become a partner with your heath care team. This means working together toward the same goal and learning how to communicate so you reach that goal without spending too much time and money. If you have a chronic illness, make sure you tell your doctor about any new symptoms or changes—for better or worse—of current symptoms.
The information on this site is meant to help you better communicate with your health care team by being able to describe your situation better or better understand what your doctor has prescribed for you. You must become a health advocate for yourself and your family. You can find information by category or by using the search box at the top of each page. We have tags to help you find related articles. When we find good resources to help you learn more, we provide links to their site to help you in your quest for good health.
Get the Best HealthCare you can Afford
Here is a list of the best hospitals in the US by specialty. You can also go to these website and learn from their patient education materials.
Get the right kind of Doctor
Sometimes you need a specialist. This is a list of the different kinds of doctors, what they do and what they treat. This is a good starting point for you to begin your search for the right doctor. We also have a similar list for surgeons.