uch about treating patients has changed since I moved my practice to Carrollton. The diseases are the same, but they affect many more people. Today, patients are generally less involved in their medical care so there is a real need for patients to take an active role in managing their own health. Insurance companies and the government Medicare programs are recognizing the lack of engagement by patients and are now seeking to reward patients who take better care of themselves. There are many conditions that affect patients that require a person to seek medical attention quickly. However, most patients that regularly see a doctor suffer from long-term chronic conditions. A chronic condition is defined as a condition that is expected to last for 12 months or more, and many chronic conditions last a person's entire life, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Each of these conditions requires a collaborative effort â€“ meaning a doctor is needed to prescribe medicine and to monitor the results of lab tests. The patient with a chronic condition also has a great deal of responsibility in managing their illness: they may need to record blood sugar levels, blood pressure readings and take their medications as they are prescribed.
Taking Charge Of Your Healthcare If you or a person you care for suffers from a chronic condition, there are a few statements the patient should be able to make. 1. When all is said and done, I am the person who is responsible for managing my health condition. When a patient realizes they are responsible for their own health, they become motivated to take action to get better. They listen more closely to the advice given by their medical doctors and they follow those instructions. 2. Taking an active role in my own healthcare is the most important factor in determining my health and ability to function. Patients taking an active role in their healthcare do things that help them stay healthy, such as taking a 20 minute walk each day. Simply getting up and moving makes a difference in how a patient copes with a chronic condition. Many patients work in roles that require little physical activity, but our bodies are truly designed to be active.
3. I am confident that I can take actions that will help prevent or minimize some symptoms or problems associated with my health condition. This is another move toward empowering yourself to understand what symptoms mean and how your conditions affect your daily life. If you know these things you can discuss them with your doctor at your next office visit. This will enhance the ability of your doctor to properly treat your condition. 4. I know what each of my prescribed medications is for and how and when to take them. This one seems obvious because everyone knows what medications they are taking and what the medication treats, right? Unfortunately, as patients accumulate medications it is very difficult to keep them straight, and it is dangerous if you take a medication without understanding their complicated relationships with other medications. Medications can also interact with the supplements that you take and the food that you eat. One of the best examples of knowing about your medications that I have seen from a patient is when a patient has a list of the medications along with the instructions
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