I spend a lot of time in the doctor’s office, since I will soon be adding to my family (baby # 2!). At a recent appointment, I was thinking about how pleased I am with our physicians. I had options when I chose our family doctors, and I made the right decisions for my family. Just as I do research when purchasing a TV, refrigerator, or vehicle, I was able to do research before deciding which doctor to see.
If I am doing research, so are other patients. So where are we getting this information?
Since almost 75% of the United States population uses the internet, it seems reasonable that this is a key source of information. There are a number of government websites, such as AHRQ website, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Medline Plus, that provide insight for patients on what questions to ask and how to check the quality of a doctor. Patients can also check the websites or social media sites of a particular organization to understand what they offer.
In my case, I also talked to family, friends, and coworkers for their input on particular physicians. Real-life examples and experiences can have a huge impact on the decisions we make when it comes to healthcare. Some of this may even be communicated through Facebook, Twitter, and even traditional email, where word travels quickly.
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