When people talk about healthcare mistakes, they often think about mistakes that doctors make. But sometimes the blame rests with the patient! Here are some very common mistakes that patients make when it comes to healthcare. Make sure you and your family are avoiding them!
Not keeping your doctor informed
Your doctor should be kept up to date on as much about your life as possible. If you’re switching up your exercise regimen, you should let them know. If you’re taking a new over the counter medication, tell them. If you’ve been drinking more recently, or started regularly taking a new substance, you need to let them know. If your doctor isn’t properly informed, then you’re putting yourself at risk.
Not everyone makes this mistake on purpose. It’s easy to forget some of these details. Before you visit your doctor, consider writing down notes about changes and other details. Another thing people do is neglect to properly describe problems, which also leaves your doctor uninformed. Again, taking notes will help you here.
Another common example of this is a patient not informing a doctor that they haven’t complied with a prescribed treatment plan. They’ll tell the doctor they followed the treatment and that the problem still exists, expecting a new solution to arise. But this can seriously complicate the diagnostic process. Even if you think your doctor won’t like what you tell them, tell them anyway.
Going to the emergency room for non-emergencies
This one may seem like way too obvious a piece of advice, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the most ignored pieces of advice in the world of health. It’s estimated that millions of dollars – and we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars – of taxpayer money is wasted every year on emergency room visits that never should have occurred.
Why do people use the emergency room when they don’t experience an emergency? Well, usually it’s because they perceive it to be an emergency, especially when there’s a great deal of pain involved. For example, dental pain can often be severe, but it’s not something you should go to the emergency room for. Other times, it’s because they don’t have insurance and aren’t sure what else to do. In the case of dental pain or visual problems, this is where vision and dental insurance becomes so important.
It’s best to try booking an emergency appointment with your physician or dentist, rather than head to the emergency room. Consider reading more about the difference between emergencies and non-emergencies.
Not speaking up
So many people leave the doctor’s office confused. This should never happen. If what your doctor has told you or prescribed you doesn’t make a lot of sense to you, then speak up. Don’t be afraid of coming across as unintelligent, or wasting your doctor’s time. If you just nod and leave, they’ll be forced to assume you understand them completely.
If you ever have any concerns or confusions, or even if you have any disagreements, you must speak up. Otherwise, you may end up making more errors down the road.