Annually, the average American may visit their local doctor or physician about four times a year. When you think about it, this number sounds reasonable. It seems like an excellent indication of how healthy Americans are. However, this is entirely untrue. Countries with higher life expectancy rates and healthier populations, like Japan, have the average citizen visit the doctor about thirteen times a year.
Although there are various strategies you can implement into your life to improve your health, you cannot escape the importance of getting good healthcare. You can only ensure that you have good healthcare when you form a partnership between yourself and your healthcare provider. So, how can you ensure that you are indeed getting adequate healthcare? Here are some tips to help you build an excellent partnership to ensure that you are getting enough of the healthcare you deserve.
Do not skip regular appointments
For your doctor, dentist, dermatologist, or healthcare provider to detect and help you obtain optimum health, they may have to schedule several appointments. Quite often, you may consider these regular appointments as “unnecessary.” Although this may seem like the case, it plays an adverse role in your health. Instead of blowing off appointments, make a conscious effort to see them through. Keep your calendar updated on scheduled visits and, if possible, turn on phone notifications to alert you on your pending schedules.
To avoid missing your appointments, be sure to book a time slot you know you can make time for. Your appointments also include your follow-ups and review sessions. Even though you experience relief and see improvements after your treatment or medications, you should still adhere to the date or period you are due to come back for a quick check-up. This only improves your health as it gives the healthcare provider a chance to ensure that everything is, indeed, okay.
Do not go alone
While you would want to handle your healthcare on your own, it is never a bad idea to go with a loved one. Going with someone you trust is very helpful to receive effective healthcare. During your visits, you may forget to disclose information that could be relevant. With someone who has known about the condition for a while by your side, they would be able to offer up such vital information.
They can also help you in remembering and following the instructions your healthcare provider gave you. They also help shed more insight into various prescribed treatments, procedures, and medications through the questions they ask. Therefore in selecting a loved one to join you on your visits, pick someone who can speak on your behalf and knows your existing medical history. They should also know about your medications, current treatments and have access to your medical records.
Take part in your healthcare
Your healthcare provider may give you all the advice about your condition. However, it is essential that you also make an effort to be proactive. As the patient, you play an integral role in ensuring that your healthcare objectives are met. For example, if you are a wavy smoker and need to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke to get better, you should do so! Suppose you are overweight and need to shed some weight to be healthy. In that case, exercising more to shed unhealthy fat makes you a proactive patient. You can also be proactive by ensuring that you understand the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider by taking a family member or friend along on your visits or taking a contact number you can reach (at specified times) to ask questions.
Be inquisitive – ask questions
Just like any other relationship, communication is essential. Usually, your healthcare provider would want to create an environment that makes it easy for you to talk about your healthcare and ask the questions you have. Before going for your appointment, create a list of questions you would need to be answered. If your doctor does not bring up an aspect of your healthcare you think is important, do not hesitate to discuss it. Be sure to ask about tests and treatments, possible side effects of medications you have been recommended, or lifestyle changes you should make. Where you have taken tests, be curious about the results. Your healthcare provider is always prepared to answer the numerous questions you have for them, so do not be afraid to ask.
Being ready to ask questions is one thing and being open to answering questions is quite another. The truth is healthcare appointments can be a little awkward. There may be some questions you would rather avoid than disclose. However, when you are not so open during your visits, you cause more harm than good. Despite the discomfort, be sure to disclose accurate and honest answers to questions asked.
Your healthcare provider would not judge you for the answers you give them. On the other hand, they need all the right information to provide you with the appropriate solutions. To make you more comfortable, you can take a trusted friend along with you. However, you can rest in the fact that the relationship that exists between you and your healthcare provider is one based on confidentiality – meaning your healthcare provider would not disclose everything you two discuss elsewhere without your permission.
Trust your gut
There may be days where you would be feeling under the weather: a slight headache, diarrhea, fatigue, or weight loss. However, sometimes these minor symptoms may seem to be a lot more serious. Instead of ignoring them, trust your gut. Attempt to visit your doctor or physician for help. It is vital to remember that no one knows your body as well as you do.
Therefore, if you think some changes seem abnormal, be sure to report them. This also goes for treatments that your healthcare provider may prescribe to you. Suppose the medication and treatment options are not making much of a difference to your health problem. If that is the case, you should let your healthcare provider know. By doing so, you are taking the step to ensuring that you receive better alternatives and, in turn, ensuring that you receive better healthcare.
Keep your medical records
Your medical records are not just for your healthcare provider. Regardless of your reason for medical attention, it is vital to ask for your medical records after each session. The information within these records is insightful. For example, if you reacted to a drug or a changed medication, it would be recorded in your medical file. If you would need to change healthcare providers, you can easily keep your new provider updated. It sheds light on procedures you have undergone, your allergies, and so much more. Such information gives your new healthcare provider all they need to know before they go ahead to treat you. Therefore, they would be able to provide you with better healthcare.
Be prepared for treatments and medication
Your provider may recommend treatments and medications for your health condition. However, you would still need to make an effort to ensure that you are indeed prepared for them. Without adequate preparation, you may not experience the benefits of the prescribed medication and treatment. This affects the quality of your healthcare. You can prepare by taking the time to ask your provider questions concerning them. You should listen to your provider’s advice and follow them accordingly. If you have to go under the knife, ask your provider and agree on the procedure used for the operation. With the proper preparation, you would have a smooth recovery and get the best healthcare results.
The healthcare industry is ever-evolving, and it is doing so at a breakneck pace! Therefore, your healthcare provider may not know everything. However, with today’s internet world, information is readily available at your fingertips. Stay in tune with the latest developments in treatments and procedures. If you have symptoms of illness that seem unclear, try researching credible sources to help your doctors decipher the exact problem. Do not be shy or let the fear of “disrespecting” your healthcare provider prevent you from gaining the good healthcare you need.
Also, educate yourself on issues concerning medical law and the legal aspect concerning your healthcare. There are various provisions of the law that protects you, the patient, and your healthcare provider. This article from Leinart Law Firm on medical malpractice gives a straightforward, easy-to-read explanation of how patients can sue medical practitioners for medical malpractice on the grounds of medical negligence, amongst others. Staying informed opens you up to more information on how you can make your healthcare better.
Although there are many ways you live a healthy lifestyle, you can not eliminate the importance of experienced healthcare providers. These professionals provide the chance to gain expert advice and services to improve upon your healthy lifestyle. With these
points you can ensure that you get the best out of your healthcare for improved health.