Celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Week This March

March 06, 2018

You are just as responsible for your well-being as your health care practitioners and providers.

March 11-17 is Patient Safety Awareness Week and for 2018, the focus is on the creation of a safety-centric culture and patient engagement.

There are simple ways to be an active member of your personal care team, and while some of these tips may seem obvious, stop for a minute and think about whether you’re actually in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health.

  • Speak up and ask questions: If your doctor uses words or phrasing you don’t understand, ask them to explain using simpler language. Don’t hesitate to ask questions until you fully understand.
     
  • Discuss: Even if you feel like you’ve got a good grasp of what took place during your appointment, feel free to repeat back to your provider what your understanding of the situation is, and give voice to your thoughts, preferences and concerns.
     
  • Know your medications: Not only the name and dosage, but also any associated benefits and risks.
     
  • Be clear, concise and accurate: Don’t leave out any part of your medical history, because your doctor is the best judge of how important even the smallest bit of information is to your care.
     
  • Learn everything: Ask your doctor for trustworthy online sources or books so you can learn more about your condition. Be informed about symptoms, which you can expect, what tests are worthwhile, and other potential causes.
     
  • Keep good records: Your medical history is also your responsibility. Know which tests you’ve had and understand your results. Keep track of when you had specific appointments and be aware of what’s to come.

It’s important for us to be a strong partner in your health care and to help you make the most informed decisions for a healthy future. We’re here to set goals with you and, above all, listen to and answer your questions.

Feel free to call us at (888) 499-9303 to schedule an appointment to speak with your primary care provider (PCP) or visit our website for more information.

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Don’t Let Fear Get in the Way of Your Health

March 01, 2017

Ask yourself this: Would you rather risk having a life-threatening cancer or undergo a simple procedure? The answer seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? Despite this basic truth, only one in three adults are actually getting screened for colon cancer, which, when discovered early, is highly treatable. 

Cancer of the colon or rectum is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death, taking more than 50,000 lives per year. Here’s the good news—there are currently more than one million survivors living today thanks to tests such as a colonoscopy, a simple and safe procedure that only needs to be done every 10 years. There is also a stool test which can be done at home and mailed to our lab or dropped off at your AltaMed location. It’s that easy. Check with your provider to see which one is best for you.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 140,000 cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed a year. Because its physical symptoms are often silent, many of these individuals were completely unaware of the changes taking place in their bodies. That’s why screenings that can detect polyps are essential. You should contact your primary care physician immediately, however, if you experience persistent stomach pains, aches and cramps, unexplained weight loss or blood in your stool. 

Six out of 10 deaths could be prevented with proper testing, so pay attention to the following risk factors and talk to your PCP to see if it’s time for you to get screened: 

  • 50 years of age or older (90 percent of cases)
  • Family history of polyps or colon cancer
  • Diet high in red meat and fat, low in calcium, folate and fiber, and low in fruits and vegetables
  • Inactive lifestyle (daily physical active can reduce risk by 5 percent)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

Let Us Be Your One Shot Stop

February 01, 2017

Imagine being able to tell your children they’ve got a superpower. It may not be as exciting as reading minds or flying, but if they get all their vaccinations according to schedule they’ll be immune to over 14 different diseases. Here at AltaMed we think that’s pretty heroic. 

Vaccines are the most successful and practical way to prevent diseases like the measles and whooping cough, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, the United States currently has the safest and most effective vaccine supply in its history. 

Getting your child vaccinated is important for their health and the health of your entire community in order to prevent possible outbreaks. Most vaccines need to be given before your child reaches 2 years of age, and your AltaMed provider is here to help you create an immunization plan. Children and adolescents also need vaccines between age 9 and 13. Your child’s wellness exams are a great time to check in and make sure you’re on track. 

Did You Know Vaccines…


…can save your child’s life?

…are safe and effective?

…protect others from spreading harmful diseases?

…save time and money by preventing missed school/work and possible medical/hospital bills if your child gets sick?

…are typically covered by health insurance plans or are available at no cost to low-income families?

…protect future generations by hopefully one day eliminating these diseases from our world?

 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with your provider call (888) 499-9303