Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up
Health care professionals work hard to deliver the best possible care to their patients. However, the practice of medicine is often complex leaving the door open for occasional errors. While health care workers take every precaution to guard against mistakes, it is no longer good enough for patients to sit by passively allowing caregivers to handle all details of their care. Research shows that patients who take part in decisions about their own health care are more likely to recover faster and help to prevent health care missteps. So, what can you do?
Learn to speak up.
Be bold and speak up when you have questions or concerns. If you do not understand your doctor’s explanation or instructions, ask again. Do not be embarrassed if you need to ask more than once. It is your body and you have a right to understand everything your doctor is telling you.
Pay attention to the care you are getting. Speak up and let your doctor or nurse know if something does not seem right. Keep track of medications you are given and say something if you suspect you are about to be given the wrong medicine. Do not be afraid to raise your concern if you think your caregiver has you confused with someone else.
Educate yourself about your diagnosis and treatment options. Ask your doctor if he has any written information you can study. Do not search random websites as many are sources of misleading information. Stick with respected websites such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or those recommended by your health care team.
Keep a notepad or journal for your medical notes. Use it to track appointments and write down questions for your doctor. Keep a record of any conversations you have with your insurance company. Retain your copies of your medical records and share them with your health care team so they have a better idea of your health history.
Do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion especially if you are unsure about the course of treatment being recommended to you. You have the right to seek out the opinion of another doctor.
Learn to take an active role in your own healthcare. Your health care providers will welcome you to the team.
For information or to arrange a no-obligation consultation concerning your life, health, Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Supplement, call me today at 440-255-5700. I will be happy to discuss your options.
Laura Mutsko is a licensed insurance agent and broker offering a complete line of health and life insurance products, including Individual, Group and Family Health, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplement Plans, Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage, Vision, Dental and Life Insurance. Contact Laura at 440-255-5700. Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC is located at 6982 Spinach Drive in Mentor, Ohio.