How well does your doctor know you? Do they see you as a chart with medical notes attached or as a person? Having a good relationship with your doctor can dramatically improve the care you receive.
The Obama administration is interested in improving the quality of patient care. Suggesting that the government reconsider how they pay Medicare doctors, the administration wants to look into a system that will pay medical professionals based on their patient’s outtcomes, rather than the procedures they perform. This new way of evaluating and paying doctors would take into consideration the Medicare recipient’s overall wellbeing and whether the doctor was working with the patient to improve it. This new process should be in place by 2018, with the administration expressing hope that this system will help seniors have a more successful relationship with their doctors.
But what is a successful relationship with your doctor? To develop a productive relationship, it’s important to have proper expectations. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons defines a successful doctor/patient relationship as one that “implies that the patient and physician have developed a “partnership” and the patient has been fully educated in the nature of his or her condition and the different methods to address the problem. This allows the patient to be actively involved in the decision-making process and establishes agreed upon expectations and goals.”
That’s a great definition and one seniors should aspire toward when working with their doctors. Speak with them about any concerns you have regarding conditions, your health history or medication. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request another treatment option. If you live with or care for an aging loved one, become their health advocate. Be sure that they are receiving comprehensive care from a doctor who sees them as more than a medical chart.
At Capital City Nurses, we believe in healthcare that works for you. Make sure you’re engaging with your doctor so that you get the most out of your golden years.