In healthcare emergencies, the stress and urgency of the crisis can often cloud our judgment. Amidst the chaos, it’s crucial to maintain a sense of clarity and empowerment, while remembering that the hospital’s goal is for the patient to leave as quickly as possible.

Here are some essential tips to help you navigate through healthcare emergencies effectively:

  1. Assume Nobody Knows Anything

One of the most critical mindsets to adopt in a healthcare emergency is to always assume that nobody knows anything about your situation. While healthcare professionals strive to provide the best care, they may not have all the information, especially in the initial stages of an emergency. Advocating for yourself or your loved one means actively participating in decision-making and ensuring that all relevant information is communicated.

  1. Keep a Journal

In the whirlwind of a healthcare emergency, details can blur together, and important information may slip through the cracks. Keeping a journal can be invaluable in such situations. Documenting symptoms, medications, treatments, conversations with healthcare providers, and any changes in condition can provide clarity and serve as a reference point for discussions with medical staff. Additionally, a journal can help track progress over time and identify patterns that may inform future care decisions.

  1. Identify the Person in Charge

Understanding who is the primary point of contact or “go-to” doctor, often referred to as a hospitalist, can streamline communication and decision-making during a healthcare emergency. This individual typically coordinates care, communicates with specialists, and updates you on the patient’s condition and treatment plan. Establishing a rapport with the hospitalist can facilitate smoother interactions and ensure that your concerns are addressed promptly.

  1. Utilize the Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

In today’s digital age, electronic medical records (EMRs) have revolutionized healthcare communication and information access. During a healthcare emergency, EMRs can provide immediate access to vital medical information, including lab results, imaging reports, and medication histories. Making sure you have access to the EMR allows you to stay informed about the patient’s status and actively participate in care decisions based on up-to-date information.

Healthcare emergencies require a proactive and informed approach to ensure the best possible outcomes. By adopting these tips and actively advocating for yourself or your loved one, you can navigate through challenging situations with confidence and clarity. Remember, your voice matters, and being an informed and engaged participant in the healthcare process can make all the difference.

The patient advocates at Care Weavers are Registered Nurses (RNs) who can step in during a healthcare emergency to identify important questions to ask, navigate the care options available, avoid costly mistakes, anticipate gaps in healthcare, and help to speed up the delivery of care. Reach out for a free consultation.