Healthcare has come a long way. Leeches have lost their footing as the go-to panacea for all of your medical woes. Bayer no longer promotes heroin as a cold remedy. And mental illness is now treated without removing chunks of the brain. Yes, twenty-first-century medicine has greatly improved since the days before antibiotics, sterilized instruments, and anesthetic.
And, as healthcare continues to evolve, patients are finding themselves in a position of much greater control.
Yes, thanks to changes to the medical system, you are better equipped to become your advocate and ensure that you receive the healthcare you require.
An Open Book
Surely, if anyone could have access to your medical records, it would be you, right? Wrong. Up until recently, getting a glimpse of your health records was about as likely as pulling a gold nugget out of your backside. Thankfully, the medical profession has rethought this position, making it far easier to access this valuable information.
In a study conducted by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, providing patients with access to doctor notes showed that between 77 and 87 percent of patients felt more in control of their care, 60 to 78 percent were more likely to adhere to prescribed medications, and 86 percent said that the availability of notes would influence their choice of providers in the future.
Thanks to technology, schlepping to your nearest urban center, enduring an hour-long wait in a room filled with contagious pathogens and decades-old magazines, and forking over several Andrew Jacksons for parking and gas is no longer necessary.
As an “Expert Interview with Scott Rupp on Healthcare Technology” states, patients are now better able to receive care when they want and where they want it regardless of if they are in a rural or an underserved area. Under the watchful eye of telemedicine providers such as Doctor on Demand, American Well, HealthTap and more, individuals can chat directly with physicians from the comfort of their own home.
Rate Your Doctor
Whether you are choosing a Thai Restaurant, a hotel in Ibiza, a furnace installer, or a new book, you can look to a myriad of websites for reviews and the experiences of others. And the same can be done when you are looking for a physician.
Yes, you no longer need to poll your friends to find out who goes to what doctor and what type of experience they have had. In fact, Consumer Reports offers a comprehensive list of websites to check out including Angie’s List, RateMDs, Vitals, and Castle Connolly–taking much of the guesswork out of selecting medical professionals.
Yes, health care has dramatically improved over the years. People who stutter need no longer fear having a piece of their tongue lopped off. Battle wounds are not disinfected with urine. Hemorrhoids are not treated with a red-hot poker. (Insert loud sigh of relief).
And, modern patients can make informed decisions based on access to their medical records, thorough research, and a comparison of physicians and health care facilities–without ever having to leave their house.
What is the most bizarre medical practice you’ve ever encountered?