TRIANGLE NC

VOL16ISS2 2016

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — TRIANGLE NC | VOLUME 16 — ISSUE 2 60 FINDING HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS 5 Tips for Finding Healthcare Providers Welcome to the Triangle area of North Carolina! Now that you're settled in and getting acquainted with the neighborhood, you're probably starting to look for a new doctor. Fortunately, the Triangle is home to a wealth of general practitioners, specialists, and allied health professionals. How do you find the healthcare provider who's best for you? Beyond checking that the provider is "in network" (covered by your insurance), here are five tips to consider. 1. An Ounce of Prevention When Ben Franklin wrote "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," he was advising on fire prevention in colonial towns. But his practical wisdom is often quoted when it comes to health care - and for good reason! According to a recent Centers for Disease Control survey, more than two-thirds of Americans believe that their healthcare provider should place a greater emphasis on preventive medicine. The best doctors should try to work themselves out of a job, aiming to keep you healthy so that you're not frequenting their office and/or the pharmacy! Preventive medicine is all about finding potential health problems before they cause disease. Dr. Rachel Urrutia, an ob/gyn and preventive medicine specialist at Reply Ob/ Gyn and Fertility, the practice where I work, says she uses her "preventive lens" with every patient encounter: "When a patient is seeking help for an immediate health need, that comes first. But I also try to help patients reach a state of overall health and well-being." Disease screening, identifying risk factors, and providing information and tools to promote healthy lifestyle are all important when it comes to preventive medicine. Look for a physician and clinical team focused on your total health. 2. Credentials It is important that you establish a good connection with your physician and that you have confidence in his or her abilities. Look for full information on the provider's credentials, including medical school, residencies and fellowships, and board certifications, as well as information about other members of the practice team. 3. Prioritizing Patient Education The best providers see you as a true partner in your care. They go above and beyond to give you value-added education and additional resources. "Our clinical team focuses on evidence-based education at every visit," says Dr. Urrutia. "This gives me confidence that the patient is getting all the tools she needs to be at her optimal health." Ask a prospective doctor's office what resources and personnel they have available for patient education, and then speak up during your appointments! 4. Accessible Communication Easy communication is critical to an effective doctor- patient relationship. Find out how a prospective physician office would communicate with you. The first thing to evaluate is the front desk - do you receive competent help when you phone or visit the office? Do they have an online patient portal? How would you access test results? Up-to-date clinics give patients electronic access to data about their test results and topics discussed at their appointments. Are nurses and other clinical team members available to you when needed? Ask how you would get in touch with your provider if you have questions about your blood work or treatment plan. 5. Hospital Affiliation The Triangle area is rich with many world- renowned university teaching and research hospitals, and each hospital has its own unique areas of excellence. If you have a preference for a certain hospital, you may want to consider physicians with that hospital affiliation. This way, you can ensure continuity of care in the event you require more specialized care or hospitalization. [] so many great options, how do you choose? EMILY KENNEDY Health Coach and Fertility Instructor Reply OB/GYN

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