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How to Get Better Results with Your Healthcare

June 29, 2017

Research proves that people who take an active interest in their healthcare get better results. Keeping yourself and your doctors informed is the first step to taking control of what can sometimes feel like a helpless situation. From getting prescriptions, to simpler doctor visits, to having surgery, here is how to get engaged for better health.

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Get More Involved with Your Healthcare to Get Better Results

Research shows that patients who are more involved with their healthcare tend to get better results.

Become an active part of your healthcare team. Don’t take a back seat to your health. Help doctors, help you.

Keep Your Doctors Informed
  • Take a list of your medications and supplements or bring them with you.
  • If you have any drug allergies or reactions to medicines/anesthesia, let your health team know.
  • Know and share your family’s health history, such as your parents’ health conditions.
Keep Yourself Informed
  • Take a relative or friend to your doctor appointment or hospital visit to help you ask questions and understand answers.
  • Take notes so you can go back over important information later.
  • Ask your doctor about other reliable sources to get more information about your condition and treatments.
Prescribed New Medication? Ask These Questions:
  • What is the drug for? What is it supposed to do?
  • How am I supposed to take it, and for how long?
  • What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
  • Is this medicine safe to take with other drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter) or dietary supplements I am taking?
  • What food, drink or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
Undergoing Surgery? Ask These Questions:
  • Who will manage my care when I am in the hospital?
  • Exactly what will you be doing?
  • About how long will it take?
  • What will happen after the surgery?
  • What’s the recovery process like?
  • How can I expect to feel during recovery?
Follow Up with Your Doctors
  • If you experience any side effects or problems with medications.
  • If any symptoms get worse or you experience new symptoms.
  • To get results of any tests you’ve taken.
  • If you have any unanswered questions about your diagnosis.

Source Material:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
https://medlineplus.gov/patientsafety.html
https://archive.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/care-planning/errors/20tips/index.html
http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/index.html