How to take charge of your own medical care

How do you take charge of your own medical care without a medical background? Going to the doctors office or hospital can be overwhelming for the average person with conditions requiring complex or ongoing treatments.

Here are a few tools to help you!

Healthgrades.com offers an abundance of information on physicians, hospitals, nursing homes and even drug ratings. Some reports on this site are free, but in-depth reports will cost you depending on the information you want. You can find and compare physicians in your area, including disciplinary actions, board certifications and patient opinions. You can also receive Watchdog Alerts on your current physician, so you know right away if there are problems.
The free hospital ratings include the most popular hospital conditions such as “patient safety rating”. Or, for a fee, receive a comprehensive report that lists ratings, costs on specific procedures, patient volumes, safety, survival, complication and recovery ratings.
Healthgrades also compares and locates nursing facilities in your area and provides state inspection reports, investigated complaints and analysis of recurring problems.
Their prescription drug tool is available for free (beta). Search by drug name (original brand or generic), condition, or alphabetically (since most drugs are so hard to spell, let alone pronounce). Once you find your drug, the site provides you with price level, overall rating, number of ratings and the change in number of prescriptions (a decrease, for example, may indicate a generic version has been released). Most importantly, it provides a comparison tool for drugs treating the same condition.

If you have a medical file that is full of complex information, or spread across several doctor offices, try Lynxcare.net. For a fee, you will receive a prepared, analyzed medical summary, up to 130 pages, which includes a list of questions and concerns most essential to your ongoing healthcare.
For additional fees, you can have all of your records aquired (with your consent), organized and scanned into PDF format. Consulting services are also available to provide condition specific research, health system “navigation” aid, drug interaction reports or options in alternative medicine.

May 17, 2011 5:11 pm Published by