Seven Signs of a Good Healthcare Provider

April 23, 2015 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

Here’s a checklist of what really matters. See how many you can check off when it comes to your doctor.

Board Certification. That means a physician has earned a degree from a qualifying medical school, completed three to seven years of accredited residency training, is licensed by a state medical board, and has passed one or more exams administered by a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

A Caring Bedside Manner. To get a feel for the provider’s style, ask questions during your first appointment, such as: “What is your coverage on weekends?” “Where do you have hospital-admitting privileges?” “If I’m hospitalized, who will oversee my care?” If the provider seems impatient, he/she may not be the right one for you.

A Great Office Staff. You may love a provider, but if the staff drives you nuts, consider moving on. Staffers should be polite, answer questions, check you in and out effectively, let you know when the doctor is running late, and not keep you on hold too long when you call.

Reasonable Waits. On average, patients spend 24 minutes in waiting rooms, though waits can sometimes stretch to hours. Emergencies happen, so an occasional long wait can’t be helped. But if endless waits become a regular occurrence, you may want to find another provider. Don’t want to switch? Call ahead to see if the doctor is on time.

Same-Day Appointments. When you get sick or develop pinkeye, you don’t want to wait to be seen. If you are not getting immediate care when you need it, consider moving on.

Good Communication. Doctors should listen without interrupting or judging. They should consider all of your symptoms when making a diagnosis.

A No-Drug-Policy. In addition to taking up a doctor’s time, pharmaceutical sales reps give out free drug samples, and doctors may be more likely to treat patients with them. That can get patients started on brand-name drugs that may be more expensive or not the best one for them. Some practices post signs that say drug reps aren’t welcome. If you don’t see such a sign, ask about the policy.

Source: Consumer Reports

Entry filed under: Managing your health, To Your Health.

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