I’m speaking today at the annual Health Fair for Rich Products employees in Buffalo. They’re proactive about a family attitude, responsibility, and consumer engagement, and that extends to health.
In preparing for this speech, they asked me to be sure to offer takeaways – specific, concrete to-do’s for people to use after the day is complete. Here they are:
The Magic Incantation
(introducing yourself as an e-patient):
Here’s what I say when I meet a new clinician, to explain my appetite for understanding:
“I’m the kind of patient
who likes to understand
as much as I can
about my health.”
“Could I ask
Shazam: you’re an e-patient! Empowered, engaged, equipped, enabled.
It’s exactly what I said when I met the dermatologist who removed my skin cancer last week. So after our first meeting, when I did have questions to ask, it was natural.
Five starter questions:
When you or your family encounter a diagnosis, here are some basic questions to use:
- How can I learn about my condition?
- Good websites or pamphlets?
- What are my options?
- How much does this cost?
- Are there any other options?
- Do other doctors offer anything else?
- What are the risks?
- How strong is the evidence?
- Can I connect with other patients?
Don’t worry, these questions aren’t rude! By asking them you’re being a responsible, activated, engaged patient. That’s great, because throughout medicine one of the most widespread complaints is about patients who aren’t engaged.
Remember, e-patients are empowered, engaged, equipped, enabled, educated, sometimes expert … in your travels you’ll take this wherever it takes you. And don’t forget to use your Health Advocate benefit!