doctor and patient discussing care

5 Ways to Become an Empowered Patient

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

1. Take a Health Risk Assessment

You don’t need to wait until your doctor’s visit to get answers about your health. Health Risk Assessments can help you get a better picture of your risks for conditions like heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Assessments are free, and should only take a few minutes to fill out. You’ll answer some questions about your personal and family health history, and be given a personalized report of your risk factors. You’ll also get some simple conversation starters for your next doctor’s visit.

Stay informed about your health by taking your first health risk assessment right here.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Own Your Health Data with MyChart

MyChart is your patient portal. It’s a quick, convenient way to access information about your care at Community.

Do you know the last time you got a tetanus shot? What’s your cholesterol score? You can use MyChart to see a summary of your health at a glance, so you can stay informed about your health.

MyChart gives you access to your test results as soon as they come in. You can use it to communicate with your care team, request prescription renewals and schedule appointments right from your computer, tablet or phone.

And if you’re managing the care of other family members, you can use MyChart to stay informed about their health, too. Create your MyChart account today or sign in to schedule your next appointment.

5. Get Support for the Cost of Care

You don’t have to wait until you get a bill to know how much care will cost you. Community helps you figure out the actual cost of your visit, so there are no surprises.

Whether you’re uninsured or underinsured, we have a team in place whose sole purpose is to advocate on your behalf, often finding coverage for patients in need before treatment even begins. We’re called Community Health Network for a reason, and we promise to stand by you every step of the way.

And if you have greater health needs — like needing a meal or a place to call home — we can help there, too. We’ll get you in touch with free and reduced-cost programs in your area through Community Connections.


As an empowered patient, you’ll take “Exceptional care. Simple delivered” to a new level. We look forward to your next visit!