Here’s the bad news: We will not benefit from the health care services, drugs, tests and procedures available to us unless we pay attention, learn about our choices, interact with our clinicians and follow through on the plans we make together. And that “following through”part? We have to work at doing that every day, whether we feel sick or well, energetic or tired out. And if we can’t do it, we’d best find a spouse or parent or friend or social service agency who can step in to do the things we can’t manage.
OK. For some people, this is not bad news. This is how we think it should be: “Nothing about me without me.” For others, our personal encounters with tests and treatments and illness have taught us that this is just the way it is.
But for many of us, this news – should we have reason to attend to it – is inconsistent with our idealized vision of health care that, tattered as its image might be, will step in, take over and fix what ails us. Most of us, after all, are mostly well most of the time and our exposure to health care is minimal.
Efforts to improve the effectiveness of health care and contain its cost have produced Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*