Make 2018 the year you take control of your health!
Did you know that medical errors are the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer? ParTNers for Health wants to empower you to become a smarter healthcare consumer. Our Know Your Health campaign will provide you with resources to help you and your family talk with your doctors about choosing the healthcare you need, what you may not need and the best place to receive care. For more information, go to http://www.choosingwisely.org.
How safe is your hospital? Read this flier to see.
Whether you simply want to know about the hospitals in your area, or you need to choose a hospital for surgery or another procedure, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade should be your first stop for finding the best hospital for you and your family. Learn more here.
When does it make sense to compare hospitals?
If you are pregnant, find out how your hospital does on maternity care metrics like C-sections and managing high-risk deliveries.
If you're concerned about a seriously ill family member, look at ICU staffing protocols and how the hospital prevents injuries and keeps patients safe from harm.
If you or a family member needs surgery, see how your hospital compares on serious infection rates such as C. difficile and MRSA.
Medication errors are the most common mistakes in hospitals. See which hospitals have computerized physician order entry and bar code medication administration which are proven ways of significantly reducing medication errors.
Avoiding wasteful and risky medical care
Your doctor recommends a test, treatment or procedure. But is it really necessary? How do you aks that? How do you find out more? Watch this short video for advice from the Choosing Wisely campaign.
Where to go for healthcare when you need it
It's the weekend. Your child gets a fever. Or, you twist your ankle while jogging. You think you need care, but where should you go?
- Should you wait until Monday to see your regular doctor?
- Should you go to a retail clinic like those found in drugstores, grocery stores and big box stores?
- Go to the urgent-care center?
- Or, shoiuld you go to the emergency room?
Here's a quick guide to help you choose the right place to go at the right time.
How to talk to your doctor
Building good relationships with your providers is critical in making sure you get the care you need. Learn how to ask the right questions and maximize the time you have with your provider. Click here for tips you can use at your next medical appointment.
Tip for choosing a new provider
Having an open, honest relationship with your doctor is critical. Better communication means better outcomes, fewer errors and a quicker recovery. Be prepared by writing down any questions you may have. Ask questions when you are unsure of what you are being told. Don't assume that every treatment or test is right for you. Be sure to ask your doctor if that scan or prescription is really necessary, or if it's better to just wait and see. Ask to collaborate on a treatment plan that is tailored to your wants and needs.
9 steps to help you find the right doctor
Choosing a primary care doctor is one of the most important health decisions you'll make. There are strategies and resources that can help you find a new doctor or check up on the one you already have. Click here to find out what to focus on in your search.
*Note: Choosing Wisely recommendations should not be used to establish coverage decisions or exclusions. Rather, they are meant to spur conversation about what is appropriate and necessary treatment. As each patient situation is unique, providers and patients should use the recommendations as guidelines to determine an appropriate treatment plan together.
EKGs and exercise tests:
When you need them - and when you don't
EKGs and stress tests can help your doctor see how well your heart is working. You may need these tests if you have symptoms of heart disease, like chest pain. Or you may need them if you already have heart disease, like chest pain. Or you may need them if you already have heart disease or if you have a high risk for heart disease.
But in other cases, you should think twice about having these tests. Click here to find out why.
When you need opioids - and when you don't
Opioids can be very addictive. Up to 1 in 4 people who take opioids long-term become addicted. Worst of all, every day, 46 Americans die from an opioid overdose. Opioids can help if you have bad short-term pain - like pain after surgery. They can also help manage pain if you have an illness like cancer. However, these strong drugs are usually not the best way to treat chronic pain, such as arthritis, lower back pain or frequent headaches. Before getting opioids for these problems, you should discuss other options with your doctor. Click here to learn more.
Stop superbugs now!
Using antibiotics when you don't need them poses serious risks
An April 2015 Consumer Reports survey of 1,000 adults found that doctors often prescribe antibiotics when they aren't necessary. As part of a project called Choosing Wisely, several major medical organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently tried to correct the problem by identifying conditions for which antibiotics are often misused and explaining when they are, and aren't, needed.
Click here to see that list of conditions, and watch a video about how taking antibiotics unnecessarily can create superbugs. Superbugs can ultimately lead to death in some patients.