How to Select a Health Care Provider

Introduction

Health care is arguably one of the most pressing concerns among people all over the world. Our ability to interact, work efficiently and live longer depends mainly on our physical and mental health status. As such, it is always important to ensure that we have some time off from our busy schedule to go and see a doctor or a medical practitioner ensure that we are healthy. This being the case, the role that such professionals play in our lives regarding our survival and good health cannot be understated. It is, therefore, safe to say that the quality of health one has depends on the type of services rendered, by whom, and cost. The question that begs to be answered at this juncture is; which factors or qualities should we look at while selecting a health care provider? In this brief but concise letter, I will highlight the aspects that should be considered while choosing a healthcare provider. We all have certain expectations from the people we trust to take care of our health. In most cases, we get what we pay for but in some isolated instances, they are very disappointing. To avoid the latter, there are some easy steps that you can follow to ensure that you get the best out of your preferred HCP.

Steps to follow when selecting a healthcare provider

The most important aspect to consider is the type of medical care you want. That is physical, mental, psychological, dental, or cardiovascular care. The next step is to evaluate the cost of the services. In this segment, you have to determine whether your insurance plan covers the proposed healthcare, how much a session may cost in terms of medication, and the consultation fee. Many people have argued that the quality of healthcare rendered depends on the financial capabilities of the patient. This is true because many doctors especially in the private sector treat their patients following their ability to pay for the services. After covering these bases, you must investigate and do some thorough research on the medical portfolio (educational background, work experience, received awards, etc) that a healthcare provider holds. It is a known fact that experience leads to efficiency. Therefore, the longer the period in practice a health care provider has, the more likely you are to get quality services and accurate diagnoses.

After ensuring that the healthcare provider is well certified and experienced, then you can arrange a meeting which in most cases is like an interview. During this session, you have a chance to ascertain the following: whether the office staff is friendly and cooperative, whether the working hours of the provider are convenient to you and whether the provider can be easily reached in case of emergencies.

Factors to consider when selecting a healthcare provider

The adoption of zero-tolerance policies has been proposed as one of the solutions to the malpractice crises within the medical arena. Many healthcare providers have adopted this and made them standard policies for their organizations. These policies lead to exacting standards of practice and the general striving towards avoidance of errors by the practitioners. However, the strain that these standards cause has the ill effect of pressuring the physicians to the extent that they prefer covering up their mistakes rather than owning up to them due to the consequences of being found to be in error. As such, you must consider the following attributes. First of all, what do the immediate staff and patients say about that healthcare provider? Does he/she refer patients to other specialists frequently or not? Is the provider’s focus on ailment treatment or prevention? Does the provider view you as a patient or as a partner?

Better health care can in most cases only be achieved through reforms. This implies that a competent healthcare provider should come up with sustainable and efficient systems to ensure that he/she caters fully to the needs of the patients. To do this, the provider needs to be well equipped, organized, and realistic. There have been cases in the recent past where patients have launched serious allegations regarding poor services, medical errors, and manipulation from their healthcare provider. It is therefore important to make sure that a provider has these attributes before signing him/her up as your doctor.

Qualities of a competent healthcare provider

Several core attributes make for a healthcare provider. They include being a knowledgeable professional in the field of expertise, having a proven track record of achieving set goals and objectives, and the ability to motivate and delegate effectively. Competent healthcare providers also ought to be able to cultivate and identify positive attitudes and exhibit sound judgment even under pressure

The success of any organization depends mainly on the leader’s effectiveness and ability to communicate. As such, for one to qualify as a good healthcare provider, one must have good listening skills. It is very depressing when you realize that the person you have entrusted with your health care does not pay close attention to your stories or needs. Studies have it that most medical errors occur due to a lack of concentration and poor listening skills regarding the practitioner. This fact effectively underscores the importance of good listening skills in the health care sector.

A provider is deemed worthless if he lacks the backing and support of a team. It is therefore important that all healthcare providers work towards cultivating and generating intellectual capital for their practice. This duly gives them a competitive advantage over other competitors in the market thereby raising their reputation and attracting more patients. In most cases, only a fraction of the capability of the workforce is utilized. Medical practitioners cannot gain much by coercing their employees to work harder. Instead, an increase in productivity can be achieved if the providers invest highly in retraining programs, ensure availability of essential resources, and provide motivational attributes like bonuses, promotions, and even pay increments to act as incentives. This simply means that a good provider should be considerate and respectful not only to the needs of their patients but also to those of their employees.

Exemplary providers should ensure that their place of work has a sense of purpose and is working towards the achievement of the set goals. They should also set out to generate and sustain trust between the administration, employees, and clients. This will result in the promotion of hope and confidence amongst the organizations’ worker force. These qualities heighten the levels of optimism within the organization all the while boosting employee’s morale and guaranteeing future success in all organizational endeavors.

Conclusion

You should know that your health is the greatest wealth that you possess. Therefore, much care and attention should be given to this aspect. Considering that man is not perfect, the decision to select an individual and trust him/her with your life should not be taken lightly. I, therefore, recommend that you follow the steps and advice mentioned herein because they may as well determine your future regarding healthy living.