Much can be said about the predatory nature of healthcare and insurance companies. The system is full of issues, and while you can have access to the best care in the world, it boils down to different factors that may be beyond your control. As a patient, you have certain rights, and you should make sure that you’re aware of them. However, it might be hard to know whether you’re being provided with the proper medical care, and what questions to ask your doctor. The following will help clear things up and provide some useful information to help you feel more confident during your next hospital stay or doctor’s appointment.
One important question to ask yourself is whether or not the lines of communication between you and your doctor are open, and you feel comfortable enough to ask them questions. Ask yourself if the doctor and their staff are communicative, warm, and able to answer your questions. If you are dealing with a medical team that lacks proper bedside etiquette, or for whom answering questions becomes mission impossible, then that might be a clear clue that you should be receiving better medical care.
Also, communication isn’t limited to the visit itself. You have the right to ask the doctor questions via email as well, in case of emergency or to help you find the best way to recover after major surgery. Being able to communicate your concerns with the doctor is important, and can help ensure that you are being provided with the best medical care there is. In addition, your doctor should be the type who asks you beforehand about any concerns or preferences you may have ahead of time. You should not be getting medical treatment without your consent, or have it fully explained to you first.
If you suffer from a particular chronic condition or are on the lookout for a good doctor in a new town, then the first thing to do is to ask around and see if anyone can recommend a doctor they like and trust. You want to make sure from others that you work with a doctor who has offered good outcomes with his treatment, or who has signed up for provider contracting services in a way that seems fair and easy to dissect. If you aren’t sure about who to ask for advice, then be sure to google patient groups specific to your condition, and join the online chat forums. Be sure to ask for their feedback on the treatment your doctor may be proposing, and understand any alternatives they should be offered. This is a great way of having your own personal and confidential focus group online, which helps you to navigate your care and better understand the options that can be afforded to you.
Also, don’t forget that you can look up ratings for medical professionals fairly easily online these days. Of course, the caveat will be that people tend to leave either glowing reviews or absolutely abysmal ones, so be sure to look into all this with a grain of salt.
The Follow Up Process
Another way to help you evaluate whether or not you are receiving proper care is to assess your doctor’s follow-up process. Do they make sure to give you a call or email after your visit? Especially when you had complicated labs done, or they refer you to a specialist? Also, do they make sure to ask for feedback on your experience? If not then you may need to look for a better doctor.
If any of the above seems foreign to you, and you’re not sure how to answer, then you should probably look for another clinic and medical professional. As a patient, you have certain rights and you should expect a certain level of quality care. Anything less than professional treatment is unacceptable.