Health and Wellness: Ten Behaviors of an Engaged Healthcare Consumer
By Janet McNichol
In the health and wellness arena, everyone talks about engaging consumers, but are we clear about what we’re asking people to do? As far as I am aware, no one has defined the specific behaviors an engaged healthcare consumer demonstrates, so I crowd-sourced a definition. This has been months in the making. Many thanks to everyone who contributed. Now, drumroll please…
10 Behaviors of People Who Care about Health and Wellness
An engaged healthcare consumer…
- Has a primary care physician who is a partner in managing his or her health—with scheduled visits as recommended, whether for regular follow-ups for existing conditions or according to the age-related recommendations for prevention by sources such as NIH.
- Asks the five health and wellness questions recommended in the Choosing Wisely campaign before getting any test, treatment (including taking a medication), or procedure and carefully considers all options before deciding among them:
► Do I really need this test or procedure?
► What are the risks?
► Are there simpler, safer options?
► What happens if I don’t do anything?
► How much does it cost?
- Reviews hospital safety data—from sources such as Hospital Compare – Leapfrog, Hospital Quality Ratings – CareChex, and Surgeon Scorecard—before deciding where to seek care.
- Actively monitors and tracks personal health and wellness indicators like weight, as well as any indicators related to existing conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Maintains a list of medications taken and shows it to medical providers when seeking care, and keeps the list up to date in electronic medical records.
- Makes day-to-day decisions that support good health and wellness, and takes any medications as prescribed and instructed.
- Develops a personal/family budget to manage healthcare expenses.
- Uses available tools to make cost-conscious decisions.
- Has an income-protection plan (e.g. short-term and long-term disability coverage, or disability insurance) to rely on in case of an injury or illness that makes working impossible or limited.
- Has an advanced healthcare directive that has been discussed with family members.
A version of this post originally appeared on www.insideworkplacewellness.com/.
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