For More Details on What You Can Do, Click on the Advice from
Dr. Augustus White and See Universal Compact Below
You Can Do
Be Informed and Involved
Medical research shows that patients who are active participants in their care get better outcomes. Learn about your condition, treatments, and medications by asking questions, getting written information from your healthcare provider or pharmacist, or by going to a reputable medical website. Bring a trusted support person to be your advocate when you go to the healthcare provider office or hospital. For more information on patient safety and advocacy visit www.pulsecenterforpatientsafety.org
Poor communication is a leading cause of patient harm in healthcare. Unequal treatment due to conscious and subconscious bias (prejudice) also contributes to patient harm. It is important for patients to be able to trust in, and feel heard by, their healthcare provider. Only then can a partnership be formed - which supports asking questions, speaking up if necessary, and having a clear understanding of medical information and instructions. When the personal connection is not established for whatever reason then a team effort may not be possible and the health outcome may suffer.
When do I Need a New Healthcare Provider (Clinician)?
Healthcare professionals may be affected by heavy workloads, stress, and very often bias or prejudice on a subconscious level, just like most other Americans. Sometimes communication issues are resolved by the patient or family speaking up respectfully. If not it may be best to move on to a new clinician.
What is Important for You in Choosing a New Clinician?
When looking for a new clinician, we recommend individuals think about what's important for them in a doctor-patient relationship. Then, ask trusted friends, family, or even other clinicians, what do they like about their healthcare provider.
Some other considerations (besides insurance accepted):
Ask questions until you understand the answers
Speak up if something's not right
Know your body, your conditions, your medications and test results
The pervasive, distressing realities of health-care disparities were well documented in the milestone publication by the Institute of Medicine in 2003. This work reviewed numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals showing disparities in health care for a number of groups in our society, including African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and women. These disparities are caused by conscious and subconscious bias, stereotyping, racism, and sexism in our society.