Who are the members of your healthcare team?
Most people think of a healthcare team as their medical and clinical providers, such as their primary care physician, their preferred hospital and the staff at the hospital, their physical therapist or pharmacist. Each member of the provider team contributes to the healthcare team, but one of the most important members is often not mentioned: You! As the patient or consumer of healthcare, you are the expert in you. Your history, your preferences, your daily routines and so much more that is important for your optimal health and wellbeing. All too often, we, as consumers of healthcare, forget the importance of our engagement. Healthcare is perceived as something that is “done to us” rather than something requiring participation. While in the hospital, we can be proactive ensuring that all are washing their hands upon entering and leaving the room. When we go home from the doctor’s office, surgery center, or hospital, we are our next caregiver. We are responsible for taking medicines as ordered, caring for dressings and following instructions after a surgery, arranging our follow up appointments and ensuring that we understand what we need to do and if we don’t know — who to call.
Remember — you are at the heart of the healthcare team. Without the patient/consumer, there is no one for whom to provide healthcare.
A great resource: www.campaignzero.org/