Choosing a healthcare provider from a directory is simple, especially if your main criteria is that their office is within a few miles driving distance of your home. Determining if they’re compassionate is not something you can find out easily, unfortunately. Having a caring provider, however, is important and can’t be understated. Make sure your physician spends as much time advising you on your health and diet as well as answering your questions as they should.
Get Recommendations From Friends and Family
Word of mouth is the most reliable way to vet a doctor, so while it may seem too personal to contact friends and family members asking if they can recommend a doctor that exceeds expectations, it’s not. It’s really necessary to put time into selecting a health care provider, and part of that process should definitely include talking to friends and loved ones. Sometimes family members may not have doctors they find impressive enough to refer you to but know someone whose physician went above and beyond in providing them with care while they faced a particular health challenge. Doing internet searches on doctors and retrieving comments left by former patient of theirs can also be useful in helping you to make decisions about providers that are listed in your health plan directory.
Don’t Rush Through Your Search
The average person may very well spend more time deciding what cell phone they want to buy then researching the doctor they choose to manage their health. Choosing a healthcare provider can be so complex, it can be overwhelming. If you don’t have leads from friends and family, have a sit-down with your primary care provider and get their guidance on who the next doctor involved in your health care should be. Shyness is often a factor that holds patients back from being assertive about health issues, but it shouldn’t be. Make a checklist of the type of person you think would be ideal for you. Your list can include their education and the hospitals they’ve been affiliated with.
Research Their Security Measures
As paranoid as that may sound, you want to make sure that not only do you feel safe visiting their office but that your personal information is protected as well. You’ll want to know that they will fight tooth and nail to comply with HIPAA standards. It would be very unprofessional if, for example, they didn’t ask for ID or credential verification while working with IT companies in order to update their internal data storage which holds a host of personal information from their patients. When desperate, criminals get creative. Ask about the system they have in place to guard against such breaches.
Once you’ve done as much thinking as possible about what type of provider you think would be ideal for you, you’ll be best prepared to actually find them. What’s most important is that you don’t let the challenge get the best of you and remember that not all doctors are the same, so you owe it to yourself to find one that ensures that you remain as healthy as possible.