Staying Healthy 2018-09-25T01:23:59+00:00

How Patients Can Work With Doctors Towards Better Health

http://9df66a44d19c42d66d8d-f258828370148df8a48db0eb9b874bc2.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/MHQP-Survey-Brochure-Staying-Healthy.pdfAn important part of quality care is preventive care. Preventive care is care your doctor gives you that prevents health problems before they start, or finds problems early when they can be taken care of. Preventive care includes cancer screenings like mammograms and immunizations such as flu shots. Your doctors’ office should tell you what preventive care measures you should receive, and talk with you about ways you can stay healthy.

Below are questions you can answer about experiences with your doctor. There also are lists of ways that patients can help make care better.

Does your doctor’s office remind you about preventive care? This includes getting a flu shot, eye exam, and certain tests to detect (find, or screen for) cancer, such as a colonoscopy or mammogram.

Doctors should do more than treat patients who are sick. Doctors should also talk with patients about ways to prevent disease, detect some diseases early, and how to stay healthy.

Here are some tips on talking with your doctor about preventive care:

  • Talk with your doctor about ways to prevent or detect disease. Your doctor should explain benefits (how these tests can help) along with risks (problems that can happen as a result of these tests).
  • Ask about tests you think you need. For instance, your friend may have said that it’s good to have an EKG (heart test). But is this test right for you? Talk with the doctor about needed tests for someone of your age and with your health history.

Do you and your doctor talk about things that worry you or cause stress?

Too much worry and stress can be bad for your health. Studies show that these problems can increase the chance of getting certain diseases and affect how well people heal from infections.

Here are some tips on talking to your doctor about things that worry you or cause you stress:

  • Talk with the doctor about the types of worry and stress you have. For instance, mention whether there are problems at work, with your family, or if you have concerns about money.
  • Ask if there is someone you can talk with about these problems. Your doctor might refer you to a counselor or therapist.

Does your doctor ask if you are feeling sad, lonely, blue, or depressed?

Depression affects millions of people. It not only is a health problem itself but also can make other diseases worse. Doctors should find out if patients are at risk for depression.

Here are some tips on talking with your doctor about depression:

  • Tell the doctor if you have been feeling sad, lonely, blue, or depressed for two or more weeks.
  • Ask if there is someone you can talk with about these problems. Your doctor might refer you to a counselor or therapist.

Click here to download How Patients Can Work With Doctors Towards Better Health