How to get the right treatment: 6 top tips from a doctor
Until recently, according to research, very few of us were pro-active as regards our own healthcare. These days we’re taking control of our health and we’re happy to be more proactive about it. The internet has changed the world, and it has also changed the face of healthcare. When it comes to long-term illnesses the journey is never easy but being involved in your own destiny makes a real difference, as does being more involved in choosing the best treatment.
At Doctify, we support long-lasting lifetime partnerships between patients and specialists. It matters because feeling confident in the healthcare you receive and the health specialist who provides it, and having a good understanding of the care you need, empowers you as a patient. Luckily today’s online technology helps patients become actively involved every step of the way.
So, as a patient, what can you do to make sure you’ve made the right choice? A lot, as it turns out. You can check your diagnosis, chase your results and referrals, choose the treatment you think is best for you, and pick the experts who you think are the best people to provide it. You can even find out all about your illness online, the most reliable treatment, your rights, and the standards professionals must adhere to. And you can do everything you can to stick to the plan that’ll lead to your eventual recovery.
Here are our top Doctor-led tips about getting the right treatment
- Feel free to ask questions – If you’re embarrassed about the nature of your illness, or unsure about discussing your condition, ask the doctor treating you two key questions: one, are they a specialist in the condition, and two, what are the pros and cons of the treatment options. Make sure you get the name of the health specialist or nurse who is accountable for your care, agrees with your goals, and is there for you if you have any concerns.
- Have your medical records to hand at all times – It isn’t always easy to see the same health specialist every time. But if you don’t, you can end up having to repeat your symptoms and medical history time after time to different people. It helps to keep a copy of your medical records to give to the specialist you choose, containing key information like your current issues and medical history, investigations, drugs, allergies and copies of letters from other healthcare experts.
- Reassure yourself by talking to the right specialist – If you feel anxious, stressed or uncomfortable, the right doctor will put you at ease. Try searching via Doctify for a new clinic and you’ll see how reassuring it is to feel in control and know you’ll receive the right care. You can filter your search results by healthcare speciality, insurance and location, and it’s also wise to identify the standard of care you can expect from your specialist. Do you have a detailed care plan? Have you been given clear instructions about what to do if something goes wrong? The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to ask for help when you need it.
- Is the treatment right for you? Most illnesses and injuries come with more than one choice of treatment. You might want to discuss the decision so you fully understand the risks and benefits of the treatment. You might benefit from knowing what’ll happen if you don’t have any treatment at all. If you actually record your consultation, listening back to it can take a lot of the stress away and leave you with a clearer picture. Sometimes it’s good to bring someone you love along with you for support, or to take notes.
- Follow these simple steps to help remove the risk of medication mistakes – If you can, always use the same pharmacy for prescriptions. Make sure your doctor is updated with all the medication you take, including over-the-counter products, supplements and herbal preparations. Note down the times and under which conditions you should take your medicine, and know the side effects, if any. And don’t take medicines without first checking the dose, even when you’re familiar with it. You never know – the strength of different brands can differ widely, as can the labelling and the instructions.
- Listen to other people – When you settle down and read about other patients’ experiences and reviews it really helps you to make a good choice as regards your treatment and who provides it. It’s all down to the patient ratings and reviews collected by Doctify. As a patient, you can also share your experience through leaving reviews, which helps other people make the best decisions, too.