Say Ah! is declaring 2013 the Year of Your Care! Simple though it may sound, the idea that health care is all about you is a revolution – and one we want you to join!
Why is a health literacy nonprofit giving you license to put yourself first? Because the health care system – all $2.5 trillion dollars of it – has been putting itself first for years now. With that much money at stake, it is no wonder patients and consumers have to share top billing with things like, well, billing.
Patients and consumers are getting so lost in the system that innovators had to come up with something called “patient-centered care” to change our current almost totally not centered on the patient care.
We support this innovation, which stresses providers and patients working together to meet the total needs of a patient, and we take it one step further: Be the patient at the center. Be the star of the show. Be the captain of the ship. Be the sun in your solar system. Be the “You” in Your Care.
Say Ah!’s site is filled with tips to help you do this, but here are three that top the list. Follow them whenever you are using any kind of health care service.
1. Know Yourself: One of the best ways of being successful in meeting your health goals is to know who you are and what you want. Everything from your belief system to what you like to how busy you are can influence how well you follow a treatment or health plan. Work with your care provider to find options that fit with who you are and what you want.
2. Put Yourself First! It’s your health, and nobody else’s. Lots of people have a stake in our care – our doctors, families, and friends, just to name a few – but you are the one who has to live with your choices. Make choices and decisions based on what you want and who you are. Put yourself first, it’s best for everyone.
3. Speak up for Yourself! The health care world is not exactly known for asking questions like “How are you?” or “Do you understand all the medical terms we use?” so don’t expect them to. Instead, tell your care providers when you don’t understand something. Tell them when you need something. Tell them when you want something – or don’t want something. It will help them make a better diagnosis and treatment plan for you.