Patients can now take an active role in their own health care and wellness. By advocating for themselves and getting more involved in the decision-making process, they can reap numerous benefits. Here are some simple ways you can take control of your health.
- Keep a health diary. Log things like meals, exercise, symptoms, vitamins and your overall well-being. This will provide an accurate record of your health and wellness and serve as a resource that you can always refer to.
- Communication is key. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Prepare for your doctor’s appointments, making a list of questions and concerns ahead of time (and bring your health diary!).
- Know when a second opinion is appropriate. Even if you’re comfortable with your doctor’s diagnosis, seeking the input of another doctor could save you from unnecessary medical costs and stress. Generally, any major non-emergency surgeries and questions or concerns about the validity of your diagnosis are good justifications for a second opinion.
- Maintain your own records. With the growing prevalence of electronic health records and patient portals, maintaining your own health records is easier than ever. Plus, you can now see exactly what your doctors are seeing.
- Understand your health insurance plan. Know what’s covered under your health insurance plan and be sure to take advantage of free preventive care. Review medical bills for errors – an estimated 8 to 10 medical bills contain errors so having a complete understanding of your insurance plan will help you catch these errors.
- Use Health and Fitness Tools. There are plenty of tools and resources out there to help manage your health. From activity trackers to apps that help you lose weight to medication reminders, you can be confident there is an app that’s right for you.
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