The More You Are Involved, the Better the Healthcare
AARP has published to results of a study about the effect of patient involvement in their own care. Involvement means having studied about the medical condition, the medications prescribed and having a grasp of the potential problems and solutions.
It seems like an obvious conclusion, but the magnitude of the difference is striking.
Those who are less involved are:
- Twice as likely to be readmitted to the hospital
- Twice as likely to experience a medical error
- Three times as likely to have poor coordination between providers
- Four times as likely to suffer a consequence due to poor coordination
- Four times as likely to lose confidence in the healthcare
If your elder gets a new diagnoses or goes into the hospital you need to go to work and learn about what is happening. Get online, the information you need is there, Google it! Write down your questions to ask the doctor or the hospital staff. Be sure you can also give each care provider all of the information about your elder. You need to take on the role of information coordinator. Assume each person involved with providing care is not aware of what the other providers have done. You may find that sadly your assumption is probably true.
Work on this as if their life depended on it, because too often it does.