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Spring 2016
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Taking an Active Role in Healthcare

In order to avoid errors and harmful drug interactions, Mid Coast Hospital encourages patients to keep track of medications with a Personal Medication Card. The medication card should be reviewed with the healthcare team at every medical appointment.

Knowing and understanding medications can help patients take an active role in their healthcare. Patients can ask their provider for more information and for assistance with finding lower cost medications and treatments. Some medications may not be needed if there are other treatments available.

 The Choosing Wisely® campaign, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation in partnership with Consumer Reports, is a national effort to help patients and physicians have conversations about which tests, treatments, and procedures are needed — and which are not.

Choosing Wisely encourages patients to use the following five questions when talking to their healthcare providers:
  1. Do I really need this test or procedure? Medical tests help patients and providers decide how to treat a problem. And medical procedures help to actually treat it.
  2. What are the risks? Will there be side effects? What are the chances of getting results that aren’t accurate? Could that lead to more testing or another procedure?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options? Sometimes all you need to do is make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods or exercising more.
  4. What happens if I don’t do anything? Ask if your condition might get worse — or better — if you don’t have the test or procedure right away.
  5. How much does it cost? Ask if there are less-expensive tests, treatments or procedures, what your insurance may cover, and about generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs.

The more educated patients are, the more prepared they will be to ask questions, understand recommendations, and weigh the pros and cons of different treatment options. By promoting Choosing Wisely, Mid Coast Hospital is committed to helping patients make the most of their doctor visits, ensuring the right care is delivered at the right time.
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