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How to Improve Your Health Care

Updated on February 11, 2010

Problems with Health Care

It is important to have an understanding of the problems with the health system so you can combat them. In order to avoid bad medical care, each individual must take control of each health care encounter. This goes against the grain of the paternalistic view of medicine where it is assumed that doctor knows best. Today’s health care system is not set up for such a view. Each individual needs to be his or her own health care advocate. A passive voice will not suffice; being a proactive member of your health care team is the only way to avoid disaster.

Doctors are not solely responsible for making the final health care decisions, it is a team effort. You need to depend on your doctor’s expertise, listen to recommendations but do not let the doctor dictate the care.

Physicians do not spend long periods of time with each patient. The average health care appointment is about 10-15 minutes. It important that you maximize the time with your health care provider. Come into your appointment organized: have a written copy of your medical history, describe your problem before you get there and have questions for the doctor prepared.

Improved communication with the health care system is a central step to improving health.

Below are 7 seven steps to improve your health care.

1. Maintaining a personal health record will help you communicate with the fragmented health care system. The personal health record allows you be organized and transmit accurate information to your health care providers. It will help you understand your medical care and make you a partner in your medical care. A link to a personal medical record can be found at:

2. Learn how to communicate with your doctor. Health care providers do not spend long periods of time with each patient. It is critical to maximize the time with your health care provider. Come to your appointment with a written copy of your medical history, describe your problem (before the appointment) and have questions for the doctor prepared.

3. Track your preventative health care. It is much easier to prevent a disease than to cure it. Track your preventative health care with prepared forms. Forms to track your preventative health care can be found at:

4. Understand how to evaluate and manage common illnesses. If you do this you will significantly reduce your number of doctor visits. Running to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle, sneeze or cough is not wise - it will lead to frustration and a depletion of your bank account. Many times it will be a waste of time for both you and your doctor.

5. Understand how to use over the counter medications and home remedies to manage common conditions. This will save you time, money and improve your health.

6. Understand antibiotics. Antibiotics are over prescribed and having an intelligent conversation with your doctor about antibiotics will assure that they are used appropriately. Educated consumers will not go into the doctor's office and demand or expect antibiotics.

7. Understand and manage any chronic diseases that affect you. It is critical that each person that is afflicted with chronic disease understands how the disease affects their body. Many resources on the web are available to study the disease that you have. One I highly recommend is

Learn how to Use Antibiotics
Learn how to Use Antibiotics



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    • profile image

      Jerry 7 years ago

      Enjoyed your article. Look forward to reading your other hubs.

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      Crystal 7 years ago

      Interesting perspective!

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      Jim 7 years ago

      I always get so confused when I go to buy over the counter medicine. I try to ask the phamacist, but they are always too busy.

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      Sara 7 years ago

      I downloaded the link to the preventative health care worksheet. I can't believe how many tests I was not up to date on.

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      Thomas 7 years ago

      I just downloaded the link to the personal medical record. This looks great.

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      John 7 years ago

      Great information. Will put these steps to use.