Patient Leaders share a common passion for helping others, but there are a plethora of avenues to take your advocacy. Some leaders choose to run support groups, while others create communities on social media. Some Patient Leaders, like the 2018 WEGO Health Awards Healthcare Collaborator winner Amanda Greene, have focused on collaborating with healthcare companies as a business partner to ensure the patient voice is heard throughout healthcare.
Although you may not be focused on conferences or business collaboration, it’s important to remember that every patient partakes in a level of patient collaboration throughout their healthcare journey. Amanda encourages all patients to follow these 4 tips to take control of their treatment plans and to effectively connect and collaborate with their own healthcare team:
4 Ways to Take Control of Your Healthcare
1. Collect and compile your healthcare records
Whether you have an acute or a chronic condition at some point everyone of us will be a patient and it is important to have access to and an understanding of your healthcare records. Sometimes different physicians and medical centers do not share patient information with one another; you should always have access to your own medical information.
2. Fill all of your prescriptions at the same location
When you have different providers and specialists prescribing different medications, despite everyone’s best efforts it is possible for contraindications to happen and often the medical hero is the pharmacist, who catches and notices the issue before it becomes a problem. The pharmacist is a wonderful resource when researching options for different medications, including biologics for your treatment.
3. Create a list of your conditions and care team
Make an “in case of emergency” list, that quickly and easily has your medical resources listed in one place. List each of your doctor’s names with their address, phone number and e-mail. List, update and keep current medications and medical conditions. Once you have this list keep it at home and a copy in your wallet or purse.
4. Track your health daily, weekly and monthly
Whether you use “smart technology” or a pen and paper, many people have begun to monitor their fitness (counting steps, measuring blood pressure and tracking sleep). In addition, patients now track their medication, symptoms and side effects. Even a food diary can help people better understand their sensitivities to certain foods.
These are the first steps to improving how you can collaborate with your healthcare. Tacking and actively partaking in your healthcare is crucial, after all, it determines your treatment and care. In future posts, I will share how to collaborate with your healthcare community to support and empower one another and then how to empower collaboration between the healthcare community and companies that are shaping the future for patients. In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter at @LAlupusLady