General Health Prevention

Individualized Care: What It Is and How to Get It

A patient gets better care when their providers consider their needs, preferences, and concerns.

In order for doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers to consistently deliver proper care, they have standards and protocols in place. They use checklists and assessments to make sure they meet regulations and provide safe, standardized treatment.

These protocols are important, but they can sometimes hinder efforts to provide individualized care. Individualized care is when treatment is designed around the patient’s specific needs, preferences, and concerns, instead of applying the same routine care to all patients.

Five Ways to Receive Individualized Care 

  • Be an active participant in your care. Ask questions, take notes, and record your appointments. Consider bringing an advocate (a friend, family member, or health advisor) with you to your appointments for additional support.

  • Communicate with your providers. Inform them about your treatment goals and needs. If you have any questions or concerns, let them know.

  • Select providers willing to personalize your care. This could involve creating a unique treatment plan of considering alternative plans. Talk with your providers to understand their approach to care.

  • Encourage your doctors to talk with each other. This is more effective than simply reading notes or reviewing your medical record, because it allows them to ask questions and have a back and forth discussion about your treatment needs.

  • Take advantage of your hospital’s patient portal. Using the patient portal makes it easy for everyone on your medical team to see your medications, test results, other treatments you are receiving or have received, and your medical history in general. Some hospitals are connected and can access information and notes from each other’s portals. 

Advocating for yourself in healthcare settings, or having someone there to advocate for you, will help ensure that you get individualized care. For additional support navigating the healthcare system, reach out to an expert health advisor. Health advisors can assist with selecting concierge doctors, managing a new diagnosis, arranging for mental health or substance abuse support, and much more.

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