Boomer Voice: The Perfect HealthCare Provider (IMHO)

July 30, 2013
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I am a Boomer, and I don’t really have a primary care physician.  I do have a nursing degree, which helps a little, and I am not often ill, which helps a lot.  But I am older and I do sometimes need a physician.  But I have been disheartened with the providers that I have visited in the few times that I have needed someone who can help me with a diagnosis, treatment or a prescription.

I am a Boomer, and I don’t really have a primary care physician.  I do have a nursing degree, which helps a little, and I am not often ill, which helps a lot.  But I am older and I do sometimes need a physician.  But I have been disheartened with the providers that I have visited in the few times that I have needed someone who can help me with a diagnosis, treatment or a prescription.

The physicians and nurse practitioners that I have visited have wanted to do what I considered to be unnecessary testing and have wanted to prescribe what I considered to be unnecessary medications.  I may be wrong here, but I really don’t think so.  These doctors and nurses were not thinking beyond the rote, conventional and outdated treatment plans.  Hadn’t they ever heard of Choosing Wisely?  Or even patient participation?

I have medical insurance, but it is a high deductible plan, so I do end up paying for most medical expenses out of my Health Savings Account.  I am careful what I spend my money on, and I do ask “How Much Is That?” each time a medication or test is advised.primary care providers

I am still looking for a perfect provider, and I say “provider” because it doesn’t matter to me whether it is a nurse practitioner or a physician or a group.  But I do have some ideas as to what this person, or group would provide.

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Accessibility

I work mainly by email as I find it most convenient for me and most efficient.  It also leaves a “paper” trail, can be filed and referred to later, can be forwarded and can be saved.  I would like my provider to be available via email or text within 24 hours.  

Telehealth Capability

For some illnesses or situations, of course, a visit is necessary, but for some situations, it is not.  I would like to have the option of Skyping my provider to talk or remotely monitor any vital signs that it is possible to easily access remotely.  I plan on buying an AliveCor EKG app as soon as it comes out for Android, and I would like the option of sending the EKG strip to my provider.  I see no need to waste my time or my provicer’s time with unnecessary visits.

E-Prescribing

I don’t currently take any medications, but if I needed to, I see no reason why they could not be e-Prescribed.  I would like my provider to have this capability.

Self-Monitoring, Apps, Websites

I am wide open to a provider prescribing self-monitoring, apps or websites to go to for information or support.  I consider myself an ePatient and am fairly internet-savvy so I can navigate sites and research for information relatively easily. And yes, I think that it is necessary that my provider keep up to date with the latest technology.  A physician to me should be current, constantly staying in touch with what’s new in medicine and also technology.  I do not want a doctor or nurse who doesn’t email or text or one who doesn’t know what Twitter is!

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More Than Anything….I Want to Be Part of the Conversation

It is really important to me to be a part of the conversation when it comes to my own healthcare.  I do not want to be treated like someone who is clueless and uninterested.  

I have a good lawyer whom I talk to when I need to discuss any legal issues.  I have an excellent contractor who is renovating my house for me.  I have a wonderful financial advisor whom I consult about all matters financial, be it mortgages, budgets, investments or employment.  These people are experts in their field, and I respect them as such.  But they are always available to talk, discuss, or refer me to others if they don’t know the answer to my questions.   Why can’t I find a good medical expert to talk over health matters with me?  I would gladly pay the going rate, but it doesn’t seem like this kind of person exists, or at least I have not found him/her/them.

I realize that my “ideal” provider is not for everyone. Others may have a different opinion of what they would like their provider to be.  What are your thoughts?  What is your ideal provider like?  Please comment below and let us know.  And who is this below?  (Boomers, you should know!)

baby boomer health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image: dreams/shutterstock