How to talk to your doctor

Lack of communication between doctors, patients and the patient’s other doctors is a big problem in the U.S. health system, according to HealthCare.gov:

A failure to coordinate care can often lead to patients not getting the care they need, receiving duplicative care, and being at an increased risk of suffering medical errors. On average, each year, one in seven Medicare patients admitted to a hospital has been subject to a harmful medical mistake in the course of their care. And nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days – a readmission many patients could have avoided if their care outside of the hospital had been aggressive and better coordinated.

What can you do to make sure your care is better? Consumer Reports says ask questions.

Why is this test necessary? What will it tell us that we don’t already know?

Will the results significantly alter any treatment plans?

When will the results be ready? Should I call you for them, or will you call me?

What is my exact diagnosis? What’s the cause of my problem?

How long will I be sick?

How long before I’ll see improvement?

Under what conditions should I call you or come back? (Don’t feel better in a week? Coughing doesn’t stop? Pain becomes worse or spreads?)

What treatments are used for my condition? Which is best for me, and why?

Abbot Northwestern in Minneapolis has been experimenting with a new care system called accountable care. Dr. Ben Bache-Wiig, the president of Abbott will join Kerri at 10:20 to discuss how his hospital is working to coordinate their patients care more effectively.

Kerri wants to know what you think makes a hospital exceptional? Where have you received extraordinary treatment?

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host