e-Patient Dave’s bottom line: WAKE UP!
Earlier today we had an amazing tweet chat, the first in our #WTFix Wednesdays series, hosted by e-Patient Dave deBronkart. A transcript is below, but after each chat we also want to make sure that each of you walks away with a few clear steps you can take to help make health care better.
What does Dave say? Here are a few action steps you can take RIGHT NOW:
WAKE UP! PARTICIPATE!
Feed your head. Know what’s going on in health care – and know when and where to ask questions.
Join the Society for Participatory Medicine (cheap, with scholarship) with its blog and journal (both free to the public).
Tell friends to wake up too. One of the key awakenings radicals go through is to “Look after each other – don’t expect the system to.”
Get your DaM data (“data about me”) – your medical record
A great place to start is to KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. See GetMyHealthData.org
CHECK FOR MISTAKES. Do you know what’s in YOUR medical record? Most charts contain errors. Some are minor – one chest x-ray report identified me as a woman (excuse me?) – but others are huge: my mom’s thyroid condition got recorded wrong, which could have led to disaster. I’ve been on this one for a while, but seriously, if you don’t know your own data, how can you demand the best care possible for yourself? Get on it!
Be proactive with every new provider.
Dave introduces himself by saying “I’m the kind of patient who likes to understand as much as I can. Could I ask some questions?”
Never ever ever assume a new specialist has been told the whole story. They RARELY have. This is called the “silos” problem, where each specialist is an expert in one narrow thing. (Some joking call silos “cylinders of excellence.” Don’t let that hurt your family! Be sure every doc & nurse is told everything important about your case! Allergies, other conditions, everything!)
Ask “HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?” and “WHAT WILL IT COST ME?”
If they say “Don’t worry, insurance will cover it,” say two things: “Maybe, but I’ve been reading a lot about surprise bills, so I really want to know. How can I find out” AND “Even if insurance does cover it, I want to help keep costs down. So I really want to know. Please?” When I do this, the clerk commonly looks really confused. That’s because not enough of us are doing it yet – be a world-changer!
Are you over 65, or plan to be, or connected to someone who is? GET INFORMED about how health & care CHANGE.
Did you know medicines and lots of other things have to be different soon after 50? I didn’t.
Connect to the EXCELLENT Better Health While Aging podcast
We don’t have enough geriatricians in this country to deal with all of us Boomers, now more than ever you need to know your strategy for aging – and so does your family!
With those action items in mind, here is the recap from the chat today!