We had a great conversation about navigating the health system post-pandemic with Scott Becker in an episode of his Becker’s Hospital Review podcast series. Listen to the full episode here:
We had a great time and discussion on Chicago’s Morning Answer! We appreciate Amy Jacobson for sharing her own personal experience of navigating through a complex health system and feel honored to help educate others on how to help themselves and their loved ones with healthcare needs.
We appreciate Dina Bair at WGN TV for the lively conversation about Becoming a Confident Patient. We hope the tips included from our book continue to help families along their healthcare journeys.
If you’re a fan of podcasts, consider this for your evening commute home…
Developing and maintaining connections along with having a true sense of community, is critically important for all stages of our lives. Unfortunately, some of us feel like we lack meaningful connections at times. Feelings of loneliness are increasing in levels throughout the country and world. Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy states, “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes, it was loneliness.” Especially when dealing with a complex medical issue, we need to make it a priority to reach out to and surround ourselves with people we can rely on, those we can trust. Making and maintaining meaningful connections can help us be healthy and stay healthy. Take a moment and reflect on the long term and short-term connections you can count on: family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
Also, there are a number of organizations that can provide additional support as well. When someone is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, for example, Gilda’s Club has free services that are available to support the entire family, not just the patient. Their motto is, “No one has to face cancer alone” and their mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.
If you or a loved one is affected by Alzheimer’s or Dementia, The Alzheimer’s Association has a helpline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist in many ways: communication strategies when those with the disease may be in crises, to share strategies for redirection, research opportunities, or simply to lend a listening ear. Their website also has education available for those dealing with the disease as well as the caregivers who are supporting their loved ones affected by these diseases.
Some organizations focus on providing physical assistance like rides to and from treatment and meal supplements and others help by connecting those who have had similar medical situations. These are just a few examples of thousands of community support systems that can be helpful. Ask your medical team for recommendations and reach out to others inside and outside your community. Learning more about what various organizations have to offer may turn into meaningful connections that are often available to those who are dealing with specific health concerns. Take a moment now and consider who your connections are and then do some research on how organizations can also be of help to you. There are countless ways that your current and future connections can potentially support you and your loved ones going forward.
Who is in your circle of trust?
Wendy Benson, MBA, OTR/L
Beth Myers, Founder and CEO of 2×2 Health, was honored to be a panelist this week at the official release party of the film, “To Err is Human: A Patient Safety Documentary.” Working collaboratively, we can all significantly improve our own and our loved ones’ safety! Read more here: https://www.toerrishumanfilm.com/about/
This holiday season, we are thankful for so much, including time with those we care about! Many of us think of our family and friends when asked what we are grateful for around the holidays. We appreciate the gift of spending time with those we love. At 2×2 Health we wanted to take a minute and discuss other things we are grateful for this time of year. We talked with some of our team members and clients and asked what they truly appreciate in addition to their support systems. A few of their highlights include:
- A cozy bed
- Celebrating beauty in nature
- A cuddle with a pet
- A warm drink when it is chilly outside
- Getting a win from our favorite football team
- Having time to work out during the week
- Hugs from our friends
- Comfort food
- Seeing fresh fallen snow without needing to go anywhere
- An unexpected break in traffic
- A movie or television show that makes us laugh
- A job we love
- Not setting our alarm clocks on the weekend or a day off
- A really good book
- Cocktail around a fire
- Appreciating the small things
- Hearing a funny joke
- Seat warmers
- Stain glass windows
- A delicious meal
- Making a new friend
- Wearing our slippers
- Planning a warm vacation when it is cold outside
- Ordering or making a dessert
- A Sunday afternoon nap
- Laughing with a friend
- Getting dressed up for a meal in a restaurant
- A long hot bath or shower
- Bubble wrap
- A chat with an old friend
- Freshly brushed teeth
- Receiving a card in the mail
- Holding hands
- A floral delivery
- A fuzzy sweater
At 2×2 Health, we are especially grateful for our compassionate, dedicated team members who consistently give of themselves for our clients.
What are you thankful for?
Wendy Benson, MBA, OTR/L
Whether it is getting ready for a new school year or preparing your lawn for autumn, the change from summer to fall is often a time of additional planning, extra activities, and for many of us, it is a time of reflection. As our kids’ summer vacations wind down, we are faced with getting ready for packed lunches, establishing routines, and increasing our organization around the house. We think the change of seasons is a good time to also assess your current healthcare needs.. See the following five recommendations to evaluate where you and your family members are and set some healthcare goals for taking care of yourself and others within the next season.
- Primary Care Physician-Do you have a primary care physician and if so, when was the last time you had a physical? Check when your last appointment was; if it was more than a year ago, strive to make an appointment for this season. If you don’t have a primary care physician, be sure to identify one and schedule an appointment.
- Dentist– When was the last time you went to the dentist? Make your oral health a priority and make an appointment if it has been longer than six months since you have had an appointment. This might also be an ideal time to swap out that toothbrush if it has been awhile.
- Screening Appointments– Are you at the stage in your life when you are due for a mammogram, colonoscopy, or skin check? Call to get these important tests scheduled for a day this upcoming season.
- Medication List– Do you take prescribed or over the counter medications and supplements? If so, spend a few minutes writing them down or taking pictures of the bottles including the schedule of when you take them. We use an electronic documentation system, MedActionPlan. This method has been very beneficial for our clients. When this system is implemented and one of a client’s physicians recommends a change, everyone one healthcare team can view and assess the list of current medications to be sure to avoid undesirable reactions.
- Assess your support– Are you in a situation where you or a family member needs additional support? Even if you don’t need extra assistance currently, but may soon, now is the time to start planning. A member of your medical team may have a recommendation or we are always happy to help, even if it is brainstorming during an informal discussion.
At 2×2 Health, whether we are in the same room with you or across the country, we want to be a resource to assist you and your loved ones. Our goal is for more and more people to be engaged and feel confident in their healthcare care experiences.
Wendy Benson, MBA, OTR/L
Just because someone is wearing a white lab coat and has a stethoscope in their pocket or around their neck, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a doctor. We often hear from our clients that they were in a doctor appointment or at the hospital and the person they thought was their doctor was, in fact, a different member of the team, like a pharmacist or a medical student. This is extremely common and even when you’re working side by side with medical professionals, it can often be confusing. Based on questions we regularly hear, we have listed various medical professional roles and their typical areas of responsibility. Please note that various healthcare organizations may define their roles and activities in different ways, but the following list can be used as a starting point to better understand who could be working with you during your healthcare journey.
Attending Physician– a physician with an MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) who completed residency and practices medicine in a hospital or clinic
Fellow– a fully credentialed physician who pursues additional training usually in an area of specialty
Resident Physician– a medical graduate who practices medicine in a hospital or clinic. A resident physician is under the direct or indirect supervision of an attending physician
Medical Student– a student who is enrolled at a medical school, training to become a physician
Specialist– a physician who has completed advanced training and education in a specific area of medicine
Hospitalist– a dedicated in-patient physician who works specifically in the hospital, coordinating your care and discharge plan with the various specialists
Nurse– a medical professional who is trained to care for sick or injured people. The field of nursing also includes the promotion of health and the prevention of illness.
Nurse Practitioner– often referred to as an NP, a nurse practitioner is a nurse who is trained and qualified to treat specific medical conditions without the direct supervision of a physician
Physician Assistant– a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a doctor. Physician Assistants, who are sometimes referred to as a PAs, are qualified to perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order diagnostic tests and can assist doctors with surgical procedures
Medical Assistant– an allied health professional who supports health professionals, often in a clinic setting. They typically take and record vital signs and assist with administrative and clinical tasks in a clinic or hospital setting.
Lab Technician– a person who performs hands-on work at the bedside, in the clinic, and in laboratories. They often are the ones who collect and examine test body fluids like urine or blood
Pharmacist– a healthcare professional who are medication experts. Pharmacists prepare and dispense prescribed medications to patients as well as provides information about drugs
Rehabilitation Therapists (Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists)– These allied medical health professionals provide evaluations and services to patients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities or changes in function. It is typical that a therapy evaluation would be ordered if a patient is recovering from a stroke, surgery, or another significant change.
Who is on your team? A way that our clients have felt more informed is to keep a list of who is on their team with the persons’ names and roles written down. This can help us better understand who is recommending what. What do you wish you knew about your healthcare? At 2×2 Health, whether we are in the same room with you or across the country, we want to be a resource to assist you and your loved ones. Our goal is for more and more people to be engaged and feel confident in their healthcare care experiences. One way to become more engaged and confident is to ask questions. What do you wish you knew? We want to help you and those that you love.
Wendy Benson, MBA, OTR/L