What would make your health care experience(s) better?

When it comes to health and health care, we all want the best care for ourselves and our family. At the same time, each of us is unique and we all have different health needs and aspects, qualities and/or elements of care that we seek. Deciding where to go for care and what we want can be a grueling process that depends on many factors.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation conducted research of Connect community through a survey to learn more about what is important to you in regards to your health and health care experience and choices. Your input helps us improve care and services for patients and their loved ones at Mayo Clinic. If you took part in the survey, thank you for your input and time!

In addition to the survey, let’s talk and share in an open discussion here about what’s important to you, your health, your family’s health and health care choices. To start us off, I’d like you to think back to your most recent or impactful health care experience.

  • What would you like to improve about that experience?
  • What types of resources, information, or assistance could have made that experience better?

1. Know your stuff. As part of my medical team, you must have a thorough knowledge of my cancer and of the latest developments in research, and be ready to formulate a plan of attack. If what I ask about based on my research is not familiar with you, then admit it, say you will look into it and discuss on my next consult. Better yet, you will call me!

2. Do your homework. I expect you to have reviewed my medical records prior to my appointment, talked with other doctors I have seen that day…. You’ve looked at my x-rays; you have my pathology report, labs. I can tell when you’re looking at my clinical data from tests for the first time !

3. Respect my point of view. Listen to all sides thoughtfully before reaching a conclusion. With patience and finesse, I’m sure you can help me to feel confident about the plan you and I have shaped for me.

4. Don’t close your mind to new hypotheses and don’t ignore clues that might lead you toward the best results. Rid yourself of the temptation to make your day easier by delivering perfunctory care.

5. When it’s decision time, please decide! Care for me with a dogged determination to get me healthy

6. Follow up on promises and follow through on tasks. I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no greater disappointment than realizing that you cannot rely on your doctor.

7. Please talk to me. I need your advice, comfort, and expertise; I am scared and discouraged—are you willing to take a seat, look me in the face, and answer my questions?

And yes, the front desk is key, sets the tone, pleasant, efficient on check in and scheduling on the way out…a kind word, smile…and don’t call me “honey.” You have my records, I am ok with you calling me by my first name or Mr. ____

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@kujhawk1978

1. Know your stuff. As part of my medical team, you must have a thorough knowledge of my cancer and of the latest developments in research, and be ready to formulate a plan of attack. If what I ask about based on my research is not familiar with you, then admit it, say you will look into it and discuss on my next consult. Better yet, you will call me!

2. Do your homework. I expect you to have reviewed my medical records prior to my appointment, talked with other doctors I have seen that day…. You’ve looked at my x-rays; you have my pathology report, labs. I can tell when you’re looking at my clinical data from tests for the first time !

3. Respect my point of view. Listen to all sides thoughtfully before reaching a conclusion. With patience and finesse, I’m sure you can help me to feel confident about the plan you and I have shaped for me.

4. Don’t close your mind to new hypotheses and don’t ignore clues that might lead you toward the best results. Rid yourself of the temptation to make your day easier by delivering perfunctory care.

5. When it’s decision time, please decide! Care for me with a dogged determination to get me healthy

6. Follow up on promises and follow through on tasks. I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no greater disappointment than realizing that you cannot rely on your doctor.

7. Please talk to me. I need your advice, comfort, and expertise; I am scared and discouraged—are you willing to take a seat, look me in the face, and answer my questions?

And yes, the front desk is key, sets the tone, pleasant, efficient on check in and scheduling on the way out…a kind word, smile…and don’t call me “honey.” You have my records, I am ok with you calling me by my first name or Mr. ____

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This list is SPOT ON, kujhawk1978. I’d like to add another point:
8. Understand, we MUST be advocates for our own health. No one knows me like me. So if I ask about another treatment option that perhaps you hadn’t mentioned, or if I say “That doesn’t feel right to me” when you suggest a treatment, let’s discuss. It’s the only way I’ll know what’s best for me, not just what’s the most common approach.

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Kujhawk..I couldn’t agree more with what you said! One thing as for myself, sometimes I feel as a patient, the dr is the smarter one…he/she has the schooling, the training, the brains to succeed, and most of all, the perseverance to continue to become a dr…I greatly respect that! That said, sometimes I feel reluctant to address some issues you mentioned…its almost like, fight, or flight. But in all actuality, I agree, they should address every symptom, look up our past medical history, and with high hopes…connect the dots. That said, we have the right to move on to another dr…another thing I find uncomfortable. As for myself, I choose my battles..whether I take this dr on, or move on…..and I pray God leads me. I thank you for your post…I couldn’t have said it better!

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My “rules…!”

Don’t Walk In Cold to an Appointment. To make sure I do the best thing for my individual prostate cancer (PCa), I need to educate myself.

Knowledge will empower my BS detector. When two prominent Urologists told me ADT is what I needed after my PCa recurred and did not want to talk about imagining and combining other therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy, I didn’t just have to accept their advice on faith. I knew they were offering the standard of care, treatment that was linear and sequential and destined to fail. In this case fail meant death. I wanted somebody who would bring forward treatments and combine them to overwhelm my PCa to either cure it or gain a long term durable remission. So, I did my research and decide that Mayo, the C11 Choline scan and Dr. Kwon and his medical team were in sync with what I felt was the best treatment plan. Happy to say a year later my PCa is in remission

I walk in the door ready to start the conversation at a different level. I don’t have to spend time talking about the basics, things like Gleason grade and clinical stage and what they mean. I already know. I can have an intelligent discussion about the merits of a particularly treatment for my cancer, my likelihood of being cured, and risk of side effects.

I won’t blindly accept the opinion of a specialist – Urologist, Radiologist, Oncologist…each ahs their own biases. I know that my cancer requires a team approach.

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