HCA Midwest Health - November 02, 2017

I always research how I'm feeling before going to the doctor or ER. But most of the time what they tell me is different then what my research said. Should I be going somewhere else?

Patients like yourself are informed and engaged in their healthcare. This can be a great advantage when trying to lead a healthy life. You know when you don’t feel right and are empowered to take action, as opposed to ignoring an issue that the proper treatment can improve or cure. An empowered and educated patient can better manage chronic conditions, improve their health results and have a better chance of staying healthy.

However, sometimes patients misdiagnose themselves and therefore look for medicines and treatments that go against scientifically proven best practices. For example, a viral throat infection can be easily mistaken for a bacterial throat infection when you are just researching symptoms.  A patient may then go to their doctor expecting a prescription to cure them.

But antibiotics are largely ineffective at treating viral infections and over prescribing them can lead to the creation of superbugs (strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics). According to the CDC, drug resistant bacteria infects over 2 millions people in the U.S. annually—leading to about 23,000 deaths each a year.

Infections are just one example. Doctors often see patients who expect to receive treatments different from the scientifically proven and recommended treatments for their diagnosis. At HCA Midwest Health we want to empower our patients to take an active role in their healthcare and to ensure our patients are satisfied with their level of care. At the same time, we want to provide treatments that follow proven guidelines.

We do this by asking our doctors and clinical staff to make every effort to take the time to explain treatments and educate patients on why a particular treatment is being recommended. They may even use Internet sources to help explain and validate the plan of care. Patients are encouraged to ask questions at any time.

Trust your doctor’s judgment. And if you don’t trust them, find one you do trust. HCA Midwest Health offers a free service where you can speak to a registered nurse 24 hours per day, 7days a week. This nurse can help you find a new doctor or an ER near you. They can even help answer your questions, giving you the peace of mind your need. To speak to a registered nurse call 1-800-386-9355.