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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

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

Too cold outside? Try online fitness classes

Written by Health Coach Team on 2/10/2016 8:00:00 AM

Tara Canada, Community Health Network health coach and fitness specialist, offers a great way to exercise from the comfort of home.

Woman exercising at home on computer

When the weather outside is frightful, you can work out with expert instructors and never leave home! Online streaming exercise videos are the perfect solution for a satisfying workout when winter weather hits. Choose a simple walking workout, a tranquil yoga session or a calorie-burning boot camp. Exercise anytime, anywhere, on any device! You can even get the whole family involved. continue reading ...

Tags: exercise | Posted in: Fitness , Wellness

Daylight savings and your health

Written by Community Health Network on 10/31/2015 8:00:00 AM

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

Health effects of daylight savings time

This Halloween weekend, we will “fall back” by adjusting our clocks as Daylight Saving Time ends and we return to standard time. While many people welcome the additional hour, some struggle for weeks if their bodies are slower to adjust. The time change can disrupt sleep and wreak havoc on mental health. The turning back of the clock causes many people to stay up later after the time change, but they are not sleeping any later in the morning. The result is a mild sleep deprivation state. continue reading ...

Treats not tricks: Halloween safety

Written by Dr. Megan Gruesser on 10/12/2015 8:00:00 AM

Dr. Megan Gruesser is a pediatrician with Community Physician Network.

Halloween safety tipsHalloween is almost here! Time to find a costume and carve your pumpkins! Can you hear the squeals of excitement coming from kids of all ages? What the about moans and groans coming from pediatricians? Why, you ask? continue reading ...

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