On average, a typical doctor’s appointment lasts less than 15 minutes. Making the most of that opportunity is critical. The Confident Patient, a new book written by Chicago-based authors Wendy K. Benson, MBA, OTR/L and Elizabeth A. Myers, BSN, RN, coaches patients and their families through the complex healthcare system by providing real life stories, sample questions and advice from medical professionals.
After years of experiences and interviews with medical teams across the country, Benson and Myers recognized a recurring theme: medical teams intuitively want to support their patients, but they don’t always feel they’re on the same page with their patients. Ranging from managing costly medications to finding trustworthy online resources to securing second opinions, The Confident Patient shares strategies and insights on ways to improve healthcare decision-making and outcomes.
“As a nurse, I saw patients who were extremely overwhelmed with managing their experience – the role of medical personnel, who said what, which medications to take and when…it all adds up. This is compounded by health complications, insurance coverage, confusing medical terms – it’s no wonder anxiety builds,” explains Myers. “Our goal is to share our experiences with patients and their families, so they find comfort in knowing they are not alone, and they are empowered to take control of their own healthcare journey.”
Research indicates that the connection patients build with their medical team directly correlates with the confidence they have in them, as well as the confidence they have in their own decision-making abilities.
The Confident Patient go-to guide includes concrete tips and takeaways such as:
- A list of questions to bring with you to your next appointment
- Definitions of common medical terms and procedures
- Considerations during follow-up appointments
- Planning for the ‘After’: Preparing for your return home/recovery period
- 10 Things your Medical Team Wants you to Know
“A few years ago, as I was working with a client and I asked him about the goal of his upcoming surgery that he and his surgeon had discussed. Unfortunately, the goals were either not discussed or the patient could not recall what the goals were,” recalls Benson. “So while the patient may have expected to return to his golf game within a matter of months, the surgeon could be primarily focused on pain relief with limited mobility. We realized at that point that there can be significant gaps between medical teams and their patients. And that’s where The Confident Patient steps in,” explains Benson.
About the Authors
Co-authors Wendy K. Benson (Chief Operating Officer) and Elizabeth A. Myers (Chief Executive Officer) are the leaders of 2×2 Health: Private Health Concierge in Chicago. 2×2 Health is a team of experienced healthcare professionals who fill the gaps by providing coordination of services, clinical companionship and recovery care for individuals and their families. With more than 40 years of combined clinical and leadership experience, they are dedicated to helping others improve their health and their quality of life. Together, they have built a comprehensive team that helps with everything from navigating a complex health issue to attending doctor appointments to assisting with a hospital discharge and transitioning home.
Listen to Wendy and Elizabeth with Mark Alyn here: