empowered patient

Empowered Patient Workshop

empoweredpatient.pngHave you ever left a healthcare appointment feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, confused or scared? Attend this workshop and receive practical tips and suggestions on how you can improve interactions with your health care providers.

Join the discussion, empower yourself as a healthcare consumer and learn how Library resources and staff can improve your personal wellbeing!

Libraries Empower Patients

The COD web site is easy to find!

  • http://library.cod.edu
  • Type “College of DuPage Library” into your favorite search engine
  • The Library is linked from all COD Blackboard courses

Why visit the C.O.D. Library?

Health information found through libraries is valuable and influences health care decisions
  • Visiting a local health science librarian can:
    • Help individuals better understand health and medical information
    • Reduce anxiety
    • Enable individuals to become proactive partners in their health care
  • Consumer health librarians help empower patients to:
    • Learn more about medications & supplements
    • Research & locate doctors & health facilities
    • Understand diseases & conditions
    • Explore treatment options
    • Discover the latest health & wellness trends
  • Librarians help individuals locate:
    • Health books
    • Health & wellness magazines and journals
    • DVDs and VHS health videos
    • Reference materials (encyclopedia & dictionary entries, names, addresses, phone numbers, ratings, etc)
    • Online health articles & Web sites
  • COD Library Resources

    Search for books, videos and journals within our Library catalog:
    • Reference materials are well-indexed, organized, concise, and highly credible.
    • They provide overviews (disease/condition/procedure descriptions, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis), definitions, specific information or addresses.
    • Types of reference books include: directories, dictionaries and encyclopedias, basic health books (describing diseases and conditions), and drug resources.
    • **HINT** Try the online medical encyclopedia articles found in Gale eBooks
    • General collection materials contain:
      • A wide variety of resources (biographies, exercise, self-help, nutrition/cookbooks, source books, and textbooks)
      • Many different formats (books, audio books, e-books, videos, software)
      • Both fiction and nonfiction materials
      • Materials designed for all age groups and education levels (the very young, kids, teens, adults, seniors, students, professionals, and lay people)
      • You can check general collection items out and take them home!
    Electronic Databases (accessible from your home using your MyAccess credentials)

    Library homepage --> Databases --> Health & Medicine Databases link

    • Get electronic access to reliable, trusted medical reference materials
    • Databases include full-text articles from health and medical journals and magazines, full-text entries from numerous Gale reference books, health-related pamphlets, and videos
    Internet Resources

    Health & Wellness Websites
    Recommended by COD Library's Nursing & Health Sciences Librarian, Debra J. Kakuk Smith

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  • After visiting a consumer health librarian, empowered patients:
    • Ask additional questions
    • Share information with health care providers
    • Make decisions about treatment
    • Implement lifestyle changes
    • Improve compliance with instructions
    • Make appointments to see health professionals
    • Seek second opinions
  • Remember that Librarians provide information.

    We do not diagnose, recommend or suggest treatments!

    Health information should be shared and discussed with your health care provider, who can interpret it for you and apply it to your individual case.

    Pre-Visit Communication Tips

    Some helpful tips that you can do BEFORE a visit to your healthcare providers:

    • Keep a "journal" or list of symptoms that you want to mention to your healthcare provider (when the pain started in your hip or a pattern of when headaches start/stop)
    • Routinely ask for copies of visit summaries and test results
    • Keep a binder of all medical information including medications, lab test results, visit summaries/diagnoses/treatments. Remember: Not all heathcare providers share electronic medical records or systematically exchange information
    • Prior to a healthcare visit, create a list of questions that you want answered before the end of your visit. Make a copy of it to share with your healthcare provider so that you are both "on the same page" when discussing your concerns!
    • You should provide an updated MASTER list (including all medications--prescribed and over-the-counter-- vitamins, and supplements) to all of your healthcare providers and to every pharmacy that you utilize (local and mail-order). Clear communication and sharing will help prevent drug interactions or overdoses.When creating a medication/supplement list, it is important to not only include the medication name, dosage and how/when you take it, but to also include WHY you take the medicine (for what condition/disease).
      • My Medicine List (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists--ASHP) PDF available for download in English and Spanish
      • Universal Medication Form (ISMP--Institute for Safe Medication Practices) PDF attached at the bottom of this Web page for download

    Office Visit Communication Tips

    • Bring:
      • List of questions
      • Current medication list
      • Updates from other healthcare professionals (your binder of medical documentation)
    • Consider bringing a small audio recorder to record your session for later referral/clarification
    • Have a family member, friend, or other trusted individual accompany you to support you and be an "extra set of ears"
    • Take notes, confirm spelling of conditions, diseases, treatments, and medications
    • Don't be afraid to call the office back with additional questions and/or concerns
    • When scheduling a visit (or a follow-up visit), request an "extended visit" to allow more time for discussion of your issues
    • Remember that medicine-related questions can be directed to both healthcare providers AND pharmacists

    Recommended Resources

    AHRQ: Questions Are the Answer
    From the US Department of Health & Human Services, this section of the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality encourages patients to ask questions and become actively involved in their health care by providing consumers informative video clips, ways to prevent medical errors, and interactive question generators for a variety of medical visit scenarios

    Horowitz, D. (2010, August). Consumer Connection: Speak up for good care: Getting the healthcare you deserve. The Costco Connection, p. 13.

    From the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, this site provides access to health topics (diseases and conditions), a medical encyclopedia, drug & supplement information, dictionary, links to self-help groups, clinical trials, directories and information in easy-to-read formats & multiple languages

    Talking With Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People (free PDF)
    From the National Institute on Aging (part of the National Institutes of Health), this resource is FABULOUS for people of ALL ages, especially older people. The book is available for download in PDF format or individual chapters are available for online reading--a handy table of contents is available on the main page. Bonus content includes worksheets to help prepare for and properly communicate during Dr visits.

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