Your role in your own health care

Posted on

Oct 08, 2015


Idaho - Boise and the Treasure Valley

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How many times have you been to the doctor this past year? Did you see your primary care physician for your regular check-up? Perhaps your cardiologist? Your dentist? For most people, health care is extremely fragmented. This means that the information discussed or obtained from each of these visits is not shared with any other provider. This can result in duplicate tests being performed and perhaps delayed diagnosis or treatment. Even for the very healthy, the burden of keeping different doctors apprised of what youre experiencing is typically on you. Electronic medical record systems in Saint Alphonsus hospitals and clinics are helping to make a difference in sharing important medical data between Saint Alphonsus providers, and making great strides in resolving the fragmentation of your care. We are working diligently to extend this same benefit and communicate to independent medical providers in your life who should know whats happening with you. However, for now, you or someone you trust should be the center point of your care. Here's what you can do.

When you get a test result or have a procedure,get the summary in writing, and send copies to all your other healthcare providers with a simple note: Wanted to keep you up- to-date on my health status. Please put this in my chart. Be sure to bring up the data orproblem at your next visit.
Keep a list of all your medications in your wallet or purse and update it any time a healthcare provider adds or deletes a drug or changes a dosage.
Dont leave your dentist or your eye doctor out of the loop. It will help them diagnose and treat any issues they may identify with you.
If you have a test or procedure and you do not hear the results soon afterwards, do not assume the results were normal. Call the healthcare provider who ordered the test and ask them to send you a written copy of the test summary.
If you are hospitalized, it's okay to ask all your caregivers questions about what is happening. Be sure you understand what tests youre getting and why. If you are being discharged from the hospital ask for the results of any tests or procedures you had in the hospital.

Editor's Note: This article was submitted by Saint Alphonsus. To find a Saint Alphonsus primary care or specialty physician, call (208) 367-DOCS (3627).

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