Healthcare is changing drastically and everyone is trying to figure out what their new options are. Advancements in technology and changes in the structure of healthcare have created new options that make receiving great healthcare easier than ever before. However, all of these new options only make choosing a new doctor more difficult. For whatever reason, many people are faced with decision to pick a new doctor every year, and making that decision correctly is always important. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a doctor. Weighing all the factors that make a doctor good of bad is essential to make the best decision possible. It may still sound very difficult, but there are a lot of things that can make choosing a new doctor easier. Anyone can use these tricks to help them find the best possible doctor for them. Here are five tips for choosing a new doctor. Consider the location Many people consider commute time not a big deal, since so many people commute already for their jobs. However, if there is ever a medical emergency, everyone wants their doctor to be close by. For this reason, location should be a factor in the doctor that a person chooses. It might be helpful to search for clinics and hospitals in the area first, and then look at their list of doctors. Think about a specialist Many people do not know where to start when looking for a specialist, so they just go to their primary care provider instead. This may be fine for small issues, but a specialist can make a world of difference for some people suffering from chronic issues. Everyone should consider seeing a specialist for their specific issues to get the best care possible. Make sure the best technology is being used Technology has completely changed health care for the better. There are always new gadgets and tools being developed that allow doctors to perform their jobs better every day. However, some doctors might be reluctant to use this technology, like hospital inspection software. This could be a red flag that this is not the right doctor for you. Ask friends and family for suggestions Family and friends can be a big help for those looking for a new doctor. Family and friends can give honest opinions that allow people to make a decision on a doctor from a personal level. Social media can be a great too for this. However, online reviews are the next best thing for those who do not have friends or family in the area. Meet the doctor before making a decision Despite all the great reviews and recommendations, a doctor could still not be a great fit for a person. It is a good idea for everyone to meet their new doctor in person before they make a final decision. This will help them know that they will be able to communicate well with their doctor and feel comfortable.
If you watch any sort of medical drama, eventually you will see an episode that revolves around a character who has lost a loved one to a terrible disease and then has to struggle over whether or not to find out if he/she too carries the gene responsible for causing the disease. In Grey’s Anatomy it’s the Alzheimer’s gene. In…a lot of other shows it’s Huntington’s. For me, it's Hashimoto’s Disease and Thyroid Cancer.
My Mother was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease when I was still in elementary school. For those of you who don’t know, Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disease that attacks a person’s thyroid which then causes adverse effects on different parts of a person’s body. It went after my Mother’s thyroid function and her reproductive system, sending her into premature ovarian failure at the ripe old age of thirty three.
My Mother isn't the only woman in my family to have to deal with thyroid and reproductive issues. My maternal grandmother had (and beat) thyroid cancer. My paternal grandmother’s thyroid gland dissolved. My oldest female cousin needed fertility treatments before each of her children. 90% of the women in my family have developed some form of thyroid or reproductive issue.
Even so, and even though I've been tempted, I still haven’t gotten the test.
It isn't because I can’t afford it. If I wanted, I could call up my doctor tomorrow and schedule my blood draw. Still, I’m not sure I want to know (though I know I should).
Psychologists call this "avoidance coping" and, apparently, this behavior is at the root of most anxiety-based disorders. According to the pros, the best things I can do are learn to self soothe and to face my fear. In this case I guess the "fear" is knowing whether or not I’m prone to these diseases.
On the other hand, there is the psychology of "waiting." A few years ago, David Maister published a paper called The Psychology of Waiting in Lines. It turns out that waiting for something we are anticipating to happen actually causes us more stress. That stress is compounded if there is no "end date" to the waiting. According to these principles, the knowing that I’m going to be dealing with these things but not knowing when would be more traumatic than simply not knowing and hoping for the best.
So I’m choosing to wait and hope for the best. Why?
Because if I do have genetic markers for thyroid issues or Hashimoto's disease, there isn't a lot that I can do about it. It isn't like finding out will give me the opportunity to fight off these diseases before they have the ability to take hold. Hashimoto’s disease is auto-immune. I can’t fight it off, the best thing I can do is figure out the best way to deal with it if it shows up.
This is where I get twitchy. While it is relatively easy to treat (typically it can be treated with oral medication), it took my Mom years to get her hormones leveled out. Those were not fun years. She basically had a decade of constant and severe PMS. When I talked about this fear with my doctor he said that things move much faster now. He told me that doctors and clinics partner with companies like Millennium Labs genetic testing services to help specialize medical treatments for all sorts of issues ranging from physical to psychological and that medication can now be based on DNA evidence, which would require far less tweaking than the “trial and error” method my Mom had to deal with. This is comforting—you know, if I end up changing my mind about wanting to know.
And cancer…well…who wants to be staring down the cancer clock? We've written before on this site about the different things a person can do to prevent cancer. Science has proven over and over again, though, that cancer is wily. I can do all of the right things and still find myself fighting it.
So, for me—I’d rather not know. Otherwise every time I hiccup I’m going to wonder if I’m a few minutes away from hormone replacement therapy and cancer treatments. Who wants that?
What do you think? If you had the opportunity to find out that you were going to potentially have to deal with something later but not knowing when—would you want to know about it one way or the other?
Anyone can get bloodstream infections but there are those that are more vulnerable to acquiring it. It is dangerous to get this type of infection as they are potentially fatal especially if it is not diagnosed and treated in time. However, if hospitals and other heathcare institutions implement and practice infection control measures, then the risk of bloodstream infections can be reduced drastically. Here are some steps they can take to ensure this.
Central Venous Catheters
Newborns are among the most vulnerable when it comes to bloodstream infections. Since their immune systems have not yet fully developed, it is easy for them to get sick especially during prolonged hospital stays where they are prone to catching other illnesses. In a new study done by Johns Hopkins Children's Center investigators, it shows how the risk of dangerous bloodstream infections--in newborns with central venous catheters (CVC)--can be reduced. The study suggests that the clinicians should end the use of CVC as soon as possible instead of waiting for the signs of infection to appear. It also suggests that caregivers should weigh every baby’s risk infection everyday and consider it against the CVC’s therapeutic benefits. You can read more about this study in this article.
Can a computerized safety checklist that will automatically pull data from a patient’s electronic medical record help in reducing the risks of bloodstream infection? According to a study by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, it certainly does as results show a significant drop in a serious type of hospital-acquired infection that usually begins in central lines. This automated checklist with an interactive dashboard style interface makes it faster and easier for caregivers to adhere to the national guidelines on how to keep patients’ central lines free from infection. The system works by combing through all the data in the electronic medical records and sends alerts to doctors and nurses whenever a patient’s central line is in need of care. The results of the study was publish in the journal Pediatrics.
Disinfecting Port Protectors
Since needleless IV connectors became popular in the 1990s, the standard method for valve disinfection was usually manually scrubbing the luer of access valves using an alcohol pad before every access. Due to various reasons, it’s almost impossible to monitor if health care professionals have been complying with the scrub-the-hub protocols. There are cases of lapses, which is dangerous especially if these result in bloodstream infections. Even the most vigilant individual can have some lapses, so in order to avoid these risky incidents, a good option would be for passive disinfection instead of manual scrubbing techniques. Curos access port protectors act as a disinfecting cleaner between iv access ports effectively preventing contamination. This requires less time compared to manual cleaning techniques, preventing lapses through passive yet consistent disinfection. The bright green cap is also helpful in monitoring disinfection compliance auditing. When the valve is not in use, it prevents contamination by acting as a physical barrier.