Healthcare in the USA has been in the midst of change for almost a decade now since the advent of the Affordable Care Act and the thousands of pages of regulations inside the act. Now, more than ever, an educated consumer is the most valuable asset in healthcare. It is evident that we can no longer expect a doctor/patient relationship like we have had in times passed.
You must step up and take control of your health. This means that you must stay on top of your healthcare team (the doctors, nurses, techs, hospital(s), clinics, tests, records, diagnoses, medications, treatments, etc) and you must have a designated representative who can advocate for you in times of need. We currently live in the “Age of Information”, therefore we have all kinds of information and the ability to successfully navigate our health at our fingertips. Utilize the best and most reputable websites for your health. Make sure that you don’t fall victim to misinformation. Misinformation is delivered by authors and websites who impersonate reputable sources and they can be just as damaging as snake oil salesmen.
Our elderly can be very vulnerable to all these changes as they tend not to be technologically in tune with the latest advances that their healthcare teams may be using. This disadvantage leaves them open to misdiagnosis and mistreatment. This is where having family, friends or professional advocates can be very advantageous.
Think about how wonderfully reassuring it is to have a nurse in your corner! Nurses are seen as one of the most ethical professionals out there. 82% (+/- 4%) of the people polled in a recent Gallup poll stated that nurses are the most ethical and honest profession (Dec 4-11, 2017).