'Warm Socks,' a blogger with Rheumatoid Arthritis, knows what she wants from her doctor and his practice. When a friend asked for advice on a good doctor, she gave specific details about what she values from a practice and a clinician: same-day appointments, a waiting room policy, billing only after the insurance claims are processed and informing her when/if she will be seeing a doctor or a nurse practitioner. As for her doctor, he listens without interrupting, explains things thoroughly, reads reports from specialists and treats her 'like a person.'
Journalist Anne Polta on HealthBeat ' notes the small things that are often overlooked in a doctor's visit because these things are familiar to providers but unfamiliar to patients, such as knowing when the visit is over, knowing where to pay the co-pay, and how to get test results. Polta mentions Jessie Gruman's recent piece where Jessie described her experience with her chemotherapy nurse who expected her to know the unexplained rules of the clinic, like when to send an email versus calling, when to speak directly with her chemotherapy nurse or another staff, and when to call the oncologist directly.
A couple of years ago, CFAH and colleagues created a model guide for patients and caregivers that identified the basic information that people need to engage' with a medical practice. Knowing "the basic ground rules" of your care facility and those who work there "would tell us how to work most effectively with them," Jessie said in her post.
By: Goldie Pyka and Sarah Jorgenson