<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Healtcare Challenges - Avoiding and Managing Them
 
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                Healthcare That Is Not Working - Avoiding Or Managing A Critical Situation
 
 
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This approach is for an important health care problem. If it is important, it is a potential crisis. This does not necessarily mean it is happening quickly, slow or fast trouble is serious. At any pace it can have a critical effect on your health, job, life and family. And while not all crises can be solved, many can be.

The Sudden Crisis:
The first priority is to stabilize the situation if not solve it. You are heavily reliant here on the medical team where you are getting treatment. If you have choices try to chose a center with the tools to handle what the problem may be. Centers will transfer, but time is lost. Equally important you option for other opinions will be reduced.

Once things are more stable, it is time to use some of the 10 step plan. But it is always wise to get a second opinion after the crisis from the best expert you can find in the area. This serves two purposes, you get a perspective on what else needs to be done and you have established another doctor, perhaps another facitlity, you can go to for care if matters worsen.

The Slow Crisis:
Here you have the time to be much more thorough, and getting the best answers in challenging medical situations often takes a lot of time. Act early and followup consistently if you have the luxury of time. This will make you more effective, and will stress you life less. The key principles are first to get the best set of opinions to reach the deciding opinion. That comes when you know as much as possible about the important issues. Secondly form a plan for your body's best care. You can use it to spot early warning signs of trouble and to maximize the benefit of your treatments. With this, we turn to elements of the 10 point plan.

  • Recheck the records.
    Be sure your all your symptoms and problems are there. Did you know about and consider all the alternative treatments in them. It is no unsual to find recommendations you were unaware of. Do your treating doctors have all the records? Sometimes key records and particularly recent records are missing. Do your records tell your medical story accurately? What worried you doctors, what options did they consider, and what puzzled them?

     
  • You probably have a second opinion. But in a crisis you need to reach the Deciding Opinion: this gives you enough understanding to make good decisions.
    When you stop hearing a new treatment or additional complication you are close. You are probably there when new discussions don't change your understanding of risks and benefits. BIf the treatments you had are working, you need to reach past a classic second opinoin to confrim the approach. You have to reach the point where you see the whole picture. Use the experts to get to the best diagnosis and treatment. Misdiagnosis is estimated at about 1/3 of cases, and then there is the worry about whether the treatment is right. This is more of a worry if treatments are not working. Be informed.
       
  • Manage Your Team
    A crisis doesn't just overwhelm patients and families, the healthcare system is stressed too. From enough specialized nursing, to quick access to busy doctors, to errors in care you can mitigate many problems. Healthcare needs you to be a complete system. Understand what is being done and why, then look to help out and protect yourself. You are, mind and body, a missing link in health care. Be teh CEO who does not have command of every skill, but lives for the outcome, and manages it.
       
  • Evaluate The Real Benefits and Risks
    you need to find the best treatments, but also the risks. Try to avoid irreversible risks. Just like an investor who loses his money or a homeowner their uninsured house to fire, this is something you may not recover from. And with treatments try to find out how well they are likely to work Making the best decision the first time is important. Some treatments like srugeries work less and less well after the first try. Or one treatment may prevent others from being tried which could also work.
       
  • Shift the Odds:
    Look for everything that will lower the challenges to your bodies healing powers. Even small effects that disappoint you may addup with others to an important edge. Or continued over time they make larger effects. Fight for every inch. Lessen the work your body does to heal you. Your are fighting a battle to improve now, and a war to not have the problems recur or advance.


  • The Main Event: Know the expectations, Check your goals
    Here, we are focused on Keating room moments in treatment. When the medication or operation offers a leap in progress, but with extra risk as well. The details very, but these times are the hinge of care. You want to focus on them fully to get the best swing forward with the lowest number problems. Identify the benefits which you should get, in the lists the risks. It's important value the risks, based on how they will affect your function in your life. A low probability risk that can have a substantial effect on your life is still a very important consideration.

     
  • Complete the Care: Recovery Needs Pacing and Adjustment
    Now, you have made it to a high-risk treatment, and things should get better and easier, right? but remember, that treatment is usually only a part of what you need. You may improve or even remove some single problem. But you half to provide a chance for your body to heal, to recover from the treatment, and to recover from the injury the treatment was aimed at. Most importantly, be sure to take care of your body very well so that it can do the healing medicine can't.
     
  • If things go wrong: Assessing the problem, and what to do next.
    most campaigns have setbacks, and medical care is more prone to them than most of us think. So be on the lookout for them and use two approaches. Keep in your mental list, what could go wrong and how to avoid it. These are your commandments, so follow them. If some other problem arises, don't repeat the cause, but avoid worsening it. Of course, contact your doctor.
     
  • Never Again: Learn to Avoid a Relapse or Progression of your problem.
    While it seems obvious that we don't want to repeat a problem, it can be surprisingly easy to forget. Especially with the best results, you tend to believe things are fixed, and they won't come back. But often, the opposite is true. Medicine often cannot restore you can how nature made you. Nor can medicine stop or reverse many processes of wear and time that set us up for the problems. Even a fall or other accident may be only the straw that broke the camel's back, had not the forces of aging made it harder to take. so with any gains from treatment, make a resolution that you will not lose the gain. Not only do you want to avoid the problems again, but retreatment often does not work as well as the first treatment.

© PowerPatient, FIND, 2003, 2004