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4 ways to become an empowered patient

Written by Community Health Network on 6/20/2016 6:15:00 AM

Take charge of your health by being engaged in care

Patient-centered care puts you at the center of your healthcare team. That's a great place to be, but it can also be intimidating. Healthcare is a complex system that delivers a wide variety of services. How do you know which options are right for you? What can you do to be an empowered patient and an active member of your own care team?

Here are four easy ways to be your own health advocate so that you and your care team can create a better patient experience:

1. Come to your doctor appointment with questions

If you've made a doctor appointment, your health has been on your mind. You might even have a mental list of how you've been feeling or changes in your body. Make a record of these and share them with your doctor.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember, your doctor is your health partner. He or she wants to help you understand so that you can take steps toward better health.

2. Get help coordinating your care

As your family grows, your health needs will change. However, your family doctor or primary care provider will keep pace with your changing needs by connecting you with the experts you need when you need them. Ask your family doctor about referrals and he or she will help you coordinate care.  

If you should ever need cancer care, ask your doctor about a patient navigator. These specially-trained nurses help coordinate your care, treatment, medications and appointments. They are your single point of contact for questions about your care.

3. Own your health data

Do you know the last time you got a tetanus shot? What's your cholesterol score? Knowing health information such as this can be important when seeking care, but keeping track of it is challenging. Use MyChart to help you own your health data. You can see your latest immunizations, test results and prescriptions. You can even schedule appointments or email your doctor.

4. Estimate your healthcare costs

Sometimes, the cost of healthcare causes us stress. Transparent pricing can bring peace of mind. Get a price estimate for tests and procedures. Also, talk to your insurance company about pre-authorization. You may need approval from your insurance for some procedures.

For more on how to get "exceptional care, simply delivered" visit

A routine mammogram detected Kelly's breast cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 6/7/2016 10:00:00 PM

Routine mammograms save lives

Kelly Frakes is diligent about her mammograms. Since 1988, she has worked with her OB/GYN physician to keep healthy and to bring three beautiful baby girls into the world. On her physician's recommendation, Kelly scheduled an annual exam and mammogram.

When her physician retired, she let her annual appointment lapse. It was some time before Kelly scheduled an appointment for her mammogram at Community Hospital North. A few days after that appointment, she received a call asking her to come in again.

Her cancer diagnosis came as a surprise

As Kelly walked into her follow-up appointment, she did not feel apprehensive. She knew there was no history of breast cancer on either side of her family. However, during her appointment, the physician and nurse told Kelly they found something on her mammogram and would like to schedule a biopsy immediately. continue reading ...

Tags: breast cancer , cancer | Posted in: Cancer Care

Keep kids safe: Poison prevention and response tips

Written by Community Health Network on 3/25/2016 9:45:00 AM

Lithium batteries from toys can poison children and cause death

According to the National Capital Poison Center, poisoning affects all age groups, from infants to seniors. But young children under age six are most likely to have a poison incident, especially one- and two-year-olds.

What's in your home?

Children are regularly exposed to poisonous substances at home. Here's a list of common home products that could cause serious injury or death to a child if accidentally ingested. Take a quick look around your own home. How many of these items could be within reach of kids?

Asparagus: The perfect spring veggie

Written by Health Coach Team on 3/21/2016 1:00:00 PM

Asparagus provides a number of nutritional benefitsAsparagus is a spring vegetable super star that is in season from February through June. This unique vegetable makes a great addition to a home garden and it only takes a handful of stalks to reap their health benefits. Five asparagus spears contains only 20 calories, 2g of fiber and 2g of protein. 

Nutritional benefits

  • Antioxidants - Asparagus provides a variety of antioxidant nutrients and is especially rich in glutathione, a detoxifying compound that can help destroy carcinogens.
  • Salt removal - In addition to its rich antioxidant content, asparagus contains the amino acid asparagine, which helps flush your body of excess salt. continue reading ...

Spring ahead: How to adjust to daylight savings

Written by Community Health Network on 3/11/2016 4:00:00 PM

By Anne Batson, NP, sleep specialist nurse with Community Physician Network

Health effects of spring daylight savings time

This weekend is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. This means we will lose an hour of precious weekend sleep when the clocks are set to “spring forward” by Sunday morning. This can be problematic for some who have difficulty adjusting to the time change. For those who are sensitive to the time difference, the culprit is mild sleep deprivation that can affect attention, vigilance, learning and memory. continue reading ...

Tags: daylight savings time , sleep | Posted in: Wellness

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