Based on focus groups, research, and e-patients' experience in-the-field,our first learning module brings perspective to any patient who is new to the system, or hasn't been a patient for quite a while.
Using simple language, our curricula address the basics such as prescriptions, medical specialities, diagnostic testing, and basic medical vocabulary, types of institutions.
How to get and prepare for an appointment, what questions to ask, what documents to have on-hand.
We have some "cool" tips how to work around impromptu situations.
Medical Flow Charts (Our own infographic).
Specialists and generalists. How do you choose?
Obsolete behaviors inherited from the previous generation.
Technology: How to Use It
We demonstrate how to use the power of the Internet to research and find information that is of special value to you - from wellness care to specific information about an illness or injury. Most importantly, how to distinguish between authentic or 'bogus' infor-mation. (No, we don't use the Drudge Report.)
Learn the rudiments of using a browser, search engine and queries. Become familiar with medical sites and government health programs. Government sites are as deep and comprehensive as you would expect.
We communicate with our patients via telephone, chat, skype, email, or in person. At the beginning of every journey, it helps to have a soft place to land if you get lost. "Health Coaches" are available to those who have been in our program and need some encouragement, or if there is a specific health issue.
We are also available to those who would like coaching sessions on an as needed basis.
Energy Maintain your equilibrium and balance to channel a focused energy to understanding and learning to live with your disease. It is vital to stay ahead of your disease to the greatest extent possible.
Educate Yourself Use our list of resources as a jump start. The mantra "copious notes" is a good one to adopt. Try to keep a daily log of your thoughts and activities, goals reached, set-backs and winning decisions.
Engage Become engaged and involved with other patients in your community. Your community's long-term patients will pass on authentic, valuable information.
Equip Yourself to make intelligent choices in scheduling, treatments, choosing medical professionals, financial issues, and lifestyle changes. Each possible emergency, scheduled appointment, surgery, medical procedure, or blood draw trip requires focused preparation by you.
The Need For Empowered Patients Basically, the primary care doctor (PCP) allots 15 minutes to each patient visit, even for acutely ill patients. Someone has to take the time to provide patients with the tools and methods to "get a handle" on their medical issues, to share in decision-making, be compliant in taking medications and in making necessary life style changes. For sure, the physicians can't do it anymore. Other medical profess-ionals are stepping in to help, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. We are a long way away from Dr. Welby.*
*Marcus Welby, M.D. was an American medical drama TV program that aired from 1969-1976. It starred a family practitioner with a kind bedside manner. Home visits are as rare as panda bears now and bedside manners only exist in hospitals and only if you can catch the doctor (now a specialist) before the whirlwind of students disappears. Although, there is a concierge medicine movement which will visit homes and provide convenient services at a dear cost.
Medical records could be considered open-source today. Patients can access, via web-based portals, their private information, doctor's comments, reports, correspondence, test results, and clinical papers, even operating room and pathology reports. They can also communicate with their doctors via email in a "secure environment".
The 4 E's of Patient Empowerment
Don't look back, You're about to
become an empowered patient.
The Road to Empowerment.
We provide enough "cool tools" to give each patient a leg up on becoming more than functionally health literate, and a star in his own health issues.