Medical Self Care
Good Health Starts with You!
|Medical Self Care|
Live a healthier lifestyle through preventive maintenance. Being aware of and prepared for your health care needs can help you make better health decisions for you and your family. Medical self care does not replace your primary care provider. It is about you, the patient, understanding prevention, health screenings, and how to make the most out of your medical visit.
Check this webpage often; new information will be added regularly.
Step 1: Get Ready!
Find a doctor - before you need one!
It's easier to find a doctor when you are feeling well and can take the time to search for one who matches your health care needs. Having your own doctor, or "primary care doctor", makes it easier to coordinate appointments, tests, prescriptions, ... and more. Most importantly, it results in better care for you. Talk with friends and co-workers and/or go to your local hospital(s) websites where there may be a listing of physicians and their specialties. Read Choosing a primary care provider. When you find a doctor you like, call to ask if that doctor is taking new patients and whether they are a Blue Cross of Idaho provider (in network). Then make an appointment for a checkup. Start now! (See the Provider Directory for Blue Cross of Idaho.)
Collect Data: Health History Tools
Did you know...95% of your diagnosis is based on your medical history? (Source: Association for American Physicians and Surgeons). Help your doctor nail it! Gather your data. Choose carefully when using a third party website, or create and save your own record.
- Personal Health Record Wellness Councils of America
- My Family Health Portrait Surgeon General
- Family Health History CDC
Note: You may need info from your medical records to complete your health history. Your medical records are yours. Make a request in writing to your provider(s) for a copy. Expect to pay a fee. It can take several weeks to receive your copies.
Health Risk Assessments
Take a Health Risk Assessment or Personal Health Assessment. Share the results with your doctor and start a discussion. Health risk assessments can help you identify and set wellness goals.
Step 2: Go!
Prepare for Your Medical Appointment
- Write down questions to ask your doctor
- Use the Question Builder
- Take paper and pen to an appointment - write information and suggestions down to refer to later
- Give a copy of your family health history to the doctor
- Give a copy of your Personal Health Assessment to the doctor
- Make a list of your medications or take the bottles with you to your appointment; include a list of your vitamins, supplements, herbs, and pain relievers
- Bring someone with you to help ask questions and listen to/document answers
- Talking With Your Doctor
- Interacting with Your Health Care Team
- Keep a blood pressure record for a week, preferably a month
- Print this Quick Tip Sheet to take with you
- 20 Tips to Prevent Medical Errors
- Your Guide to Well-Woman Visits
Be an active participant in managing your health. Keep current on screenings and immunizations.
- Screening Tests
Family Health Regular Check-Ups
Women's Cancer Screening Cheat Sheet CDC)
Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age
Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age
ACS Guidelines for Prevention & Early Detection of Cervical Cancer
- Immunization Schedules
Adults (ages 19 and older)
Preteens and Teens (ages 7-18)
Infants and Children (birth through age 6)
"And that means I should...?"
Medical terms are foreign to most of us. It can be challenging to understand all or something your doctor has recommended. If something is unclear, what can you do?
- Ask the doctor to repeat the information
- Ask the doctor to use non-medical terms, if possible
- Repeat back to the doctor, in your words, what you understand he/she said
Step 3: Taking Care of You
Use Good Health Habits!
- Wear your seat belt
- Have preventive screenings annually (see above)
- Stay clean - wash your hands!
- Get your annual flu shot
- Get your teeth and eyes checked regularly
- Review your medications annually with your doctor...ask about generics, changing dosage if appropriate
- Research medical expenditures - shop for bargains
- Do you have a medical condition? Wear an alert tag, bracelet, necklace, or shoe tag. It will help your co-workers, family, and friends help you and it could mean the difference between life and death
Four numbers you should know
Know your insurance benefits/coverage
For information about State of Idaho employee group insurance benefits, visit the Office of Group Insurance website. The website includes important information about employee’s medical, dental, disability, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, newsletters and more. You may also contact the office at 208-332-1860 or 1-800-531-0597, or via email at email@example.com.
Advance Directives & Healthcare Power of Attorney
Stay in control! Make your healthcare wishes known before a crisis. In Idaho, you can make your wishes known now and have them honored in the future through Advance Directives. These documents empower someone to speak for you in the event you are unable to communicate your medical treatment wishes.
- Idaho Advance Directives Formscontains detailed explanations
- Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care form only
- Idaho Quality of Life Coalition
- Seminar Link video on Advance Directives (45 minutes)
- Seminar PowerPoint Link on Advance Directives
- Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs Idaho Legal Aid
- Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Text or call 1-208-398-HELP (4357)
The National Line is still available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- Mental Health World Health Organization
- Chronic Illness and Mental Health
- Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD
- Idaho Lives Project
- SPAN Idaho
- I had a black dog, his name was depression World Health Organization (video)
- Support After Suicide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Finding Help
- Staying Well When You Have a Mental Illness
Digital Estate Planning Tips
Ensure your family can find and access your important online accounts and information. Make a list and give it to someone you trust or put it in your safe deposit box. Make it easy for your family to manage your online business, if you are unable to do so. Things to include...
- Online bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts
- Websites and blogs you use or sites where you store photos
- Online shopping accounts
- Social media accounts
- Accounts/location for movies, digital music, playlists, audio books
- External hard drives and info stored on flash drives
- Digital mailing/contact lists
- Online newsletter subscription lists
- Online and/or auto-bill-pay vs paper/credit pay
- Email accounts and personal website
- Contact information for your financial and healthcare power of attorney designees
- Financial planner name/email/phone
- Originals of your will, trust, healthcare advance directive, financial power of attorney
- Your employer's Human Resource contact information