Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tips to navigate healthcare

"Tell the doctor why you are taking notes! You will discover that note-taking is a major theme of this book, yet we had never considered the doctor's interpretation of the patient taking notes. Since we have interviewed several physicians, we now know it is good practice to explain to the doctor up front why you are doing this. The doctor may think that you are creating a record in case he or she messes up. Explain clearly that you may need to go somewhere else and it may be helpful to have a record of what this visit yields."

This "tip" comes from "Navigating Canada's Health Care" a new book by Michael Decter and Francesca Grosso. They have including some good tax advice. So read this before you design your tax return.

And why ask the doctor? Take advice from Erma Bombeck: "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."

Give us some humorous advice. Share the moment


nonregulated said...

I find the idea that a doctor would question a patient's note taking disturbing at best, and a sad testament to the reason such a book has a place in the market. I'm not a doctor, but if I was, I would hope I would encourage my patients to keep a record of their questions - and my answers. Too often in our revolving door system have I seen myself or another patient remebering one more question, but the doctor is gone - on to the next patient behind door number 2. What's the average appointment time - 2-3 minutes?

In my opinion, this sad reality reveals a serious flaw in our current system that rewards docs for seeing as many patients as they can in a day, and makes a good case for true patient-centred care with a salaried multi-dicipalnary team of health professionals including doc, nurse practioner, dietitian, and social workers.

I agree that people should take notes, bring questions, and do their research before coming to the doctor. You need to be your own advocate - but I worry about those who need the most care who don't have those skills. Maybe the doctors could put a few copies of the book in their waiting room.

Anonymous said...

Here are some other resources worth considering. Straight from the authors' blog.