Several factors influence the quality of health care you receive. Therefore, it helps to understand that the ability to operate within a complex health care industry doesn't come easily to health care professionals. That's why learning about the different challenges those working in the health care system face can help you benefit more from the medical care they provide.
Chain of Command
Health care practitioners aren't lone soldiers but generally follow a chain of command. Whether in a clinical setting or hospital, health care professionals at various levels work as part of a team. Everyone—from support staff to medical staff—plays an essential role in the delivery of your health care.
Since the challenges of dealing with patients on a daily basis are many, chains of command help to ensure competence and accountability in the health care you receive. An effective chain includes having a written protocol in place and delegating responsibility to others who are trained in specific areas. This creates efficiency on the part of the service provider and helps protect you, the patient.
While an overflow of paperwork can be annoying, especially when you are sick, the completion of various forms is necessary in the health care industry. The medical questionnaires you complete give doctors and other health care professionals information about your current and past medical history so that they can treat you effectively.
When you are asked to read and sign authorizations, you are giving your doctor or health care team permission to treat you. Additional paperwork often includes the need for medical providers to submit to insurers prior authorizations for medications and diagnostic tests you need. Medical paperwork also includes the documentation providers need to bill your insurance company for the medical services you receive.
It's common to have questions about your condition. However, it's important to direct questions about your condition, diagnosis, treatment, medications, or other issues concerning your health care to the proper staff member. For example, the receptionist at the front desk can't help you with issues concerning your physical health. Likewise, your doctor or a nurse can't answer questions you have about your insurance coverage.
Wait times in the health care industry can be long—a frustrating dilemma when you aren't well. In some cases, especially if you are a new patient, it can take weeks or even months to see a doctor. Some specialists take longer to see for the first time than others.
When an appointment to see a doctor is scheduled far out, it may not help much to know that a shortage of doctors may be the reason. Unfortunately, a growing population, many of whom are aging and have chronic health problems, increases the demand for doctors. At the same time, many doctors are nearing retirement age themselves and seeing fewer patients.
However, depending on the severity of your condition, you may be able to get an appointment sooner. Even if you can't see your own doctor, another doctor in the office may see you if you give specific details when describing the urgency of your need.
To learn more, contact resources like American Medical Care.