Who Is In Charge of My Health Care?

You’ve probably heard the debate about health care reform and the changes that are needed.  If you are like me, you are giving a little more thought to your own overall satisfaction with the health care system.  The reform debate has been about more than just who is going to foot the bill.  In the debate are questions about quality of care and general satisfaction with the health care system.

I hear a number of my customers say that they are not satisfied with the level of care they receive.  Some people express that they feel they have no control in their health care process, like a secretary waiting for the next stack of papers to process from the boss.  You may feel like if you try to speak up or ask questions you may get fired by your doctor.  This perceived lack of control in the doctor’s office can leave some people frustrated and upset.

One government group is calling on patients to become their own advocate; calling for consumers to take control of their health by asking 10 questions.  They emphasize how we should go into the doctor’s office fully prepared so we get the most out of each visit.  I have heard it said elsewhere I should go into the doctor’s office prepared in the same way that I would for an important business meeting. 

The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) has put out a “10 questions to ask your doctor” campaign that is meant to help you get the most out of your doctor visits.  In another campaign they give the charge “You’re in charge of your health.” 

By adopting some of the recommendations you will find on this government site I believe you will help raise satisfaction in your health care experience, increase your quality of care, and maybe even decrease your overall cost of health care.

Ten questions to ask your doctor

http://www.ahrq.gov/questionsaretheanswer/

They also have a great podcast about “Getting the Most Out of a Visit with a Primary Care Health Professional”

http://www.healthcare411.ahrq.gov/podcast.aspx?id=14

They also put together a campaign with Fran Drescher that talks about “You’re in charge of your health.”

http://www.healthcare411.ahrq.gov/videocast.aspx?id=460

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