Whether you are the victim of doctor or hospital malpractice or have received serious personal injuries, it is important to get the best medical care in order to help you to recover as quickly as possible. The following suggestions should be followed to help you to accelerate your medical treatment and ultimate recovery.
Educate Yourself Completely
An informed and knowledgeable patient will get better treatment. The more you know about your situation, the different tests and treatments that are used for your condition, and the typical symptoms and how they can be expected to change over time, the more you can be an active part of your health care team. When a health care provider deals with an educated and informed patient, the quality of their care and attention is likely to improve.
Take Someone with You to Your Appointments
There is strength in numbers. Sometimes, it is hard to keep track of all the advice you get, the instructions you are given, and what you need to do to follow up. Bring a family member or a friend along with you to your medical appointments to assist you. This can make you feel more comfortable and more confident and help you to have a more informed conversation with your doctor or other health care provider. Your family member or friend can also help you take notes, follow through on your doctor’s advice, and manage your care once you leave the office or the hospital.
Second Opinions Make a Lot of Sense
It is standard practice in the world of medicine to seek a second opinion. When you have a serious condition or injury and are told that you need a test or certain treatment-especially surgery-it is a good idea to get a second opinion from another doctor. Find out if your insurance plan covers a second opinion. Your doctor should understand this and should not be offended when you say you plan to seek another opinion. Here are some polite ways you can use to arrange for a second opinion.
• If you are told you need surgery or a complex test or treatment, tell your doctor or the office staff that you must first check with your health insurance carrier to see if it is completely covered.
• Call your health insurance carrier to determine if the procedure itself will be approved and if a second opinion is covered-or required. If so, ask the health plan representative for a list of other providers whose services the plan will cover for your second opinion. Be sure to write down the name of the person you spoke to, the date, and the details of the conversation in your health care notebook in case you have a problem later.
• To find other health care providers, ask friends and relatives if they know of doctors who have treated others with your injury or condition. You can also call a local doctor-referral service or contact your state medical society. (The number can be found in the “white pages” of the phone book.)
• When you call to make the appointment with the second doctor, tell the office staff that you are seeking a second opinion. Depending on your condition, you will be asked to bring certain medical records, which you will need to get from your current doctor’s office staff. Do not be shy about requesting these records.
• Once you get a second opinion, compare the two findings. Ask questions of the second doctor about the differences in opinions. Remember to bring your friend or a family member with you to this very important meeting. Again, write down everything that is said in your healthcare notebook. When you next visit with the first doctor, you should again ask questions about the different opinions, making sure you understand everything and then make an informed decision about what to do.
Take Charge of Your Health Care Team
Keep in mind that your health care team is there to help you and that ultimately you make the decisions regarding your care and treatment. That means you need to let everyone on the team know what is working for you and what is troubling you. Talk to each one of them openly and cordially.
If you are not comfortable with someone and feel that you cannot talk to that person about your health care needs-or you are not getting the care and attention you deserve-you are better off making a change, no matter how difficult it may seem to do so.
It’s Your Health… You Need to Be in Charge
If you have an injury or a medical condition that requires you to see doctors and other health care providers, you have a compelling need to manage your own health care team. You must take responsibility for following the instructions you and your providers have worked out together. Step up! Ask questions! Educate yourself! Tell your medical providers everything, and keep everyone on your team connected. You will improve your care and accelerate your medical treatment and ultimate recovery. Call us toll free 888-244-5480 or visit our site, www.hcwlaw.com