(ARA)—Are you and your health care provider on the same page when it comes to discussing your health? Does he or she think you’re doing as well at maintaining your health as you think you are? Probably not, according to a new survey conducted by StrategyOne on behalf of GE, the Cleveland Clinic and Ochsner Health System.
While about a third of patients surveyed gave themselves grades of “A” on managing their personal health, eating well, exercising regularly, managing stress and getting preventative screenings, the majority of health care providers gave Americans a grade of “C” or lower on all points, according to the survey of more than 2,000 Americans age 18 and older, and more than 1,200 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dieticians.
What’s more, 70 percent of those surveyed admitted to avoiding their doctors at some point, even though 95 percent recognize the importance of regular doctor visits. And while 70 percent of providers say their patients only come to see them when they’re sick, only 38 percent of Americans say this is true.
“Healthy living is not easy and can be overwhelming at times,” says Olympic figure skating champion Michelle Kwan, who has teamed up with fellow Olympic champion Scott Hamilton, GE, Ochsner Health and the Cleveland Clinic to educate Americans on how to take simple daily steps to improve their health, and their communication with their doctors. “We learned there are times when Americans would rather clean their house than take care of their health, and with my hectic schedule, I can totally relate. You have to work to improve your health—it’s not something that gets better overnight.”
“It’s crucial for people to take ownership of their health if they want to maintain it,” says Dr. Joseph Bisordi, chief medical officer of Ochsner in New Orleans. “This is not just a question of motivation; we’re seeing a significant doctor-patient communication gap. Health care professionals are eager to help people achieve better health.”
So how can Americans improve their health and their communications with their physician? GE’s “healthymagination: Year of Better Health for More People” initiative aims to help. On the website www.healthymagination.com, Americans can get advice on:
•What questions to ask your doctor about your overall health and specific medical conditions that might concern you. Developed with WebMD, the Better Health Conversation asks you a series of questions about your health status and generates suggested discussion points to cover with your doctor.
•A free mobile application for iPhones or Androids that suggests easy-to-do activities to improve your health in surprising, imaginative ways.
•An interactive tool that allows you to share health news, features and blogs with others on a variety of sites.
•Interactive data, graphically presented allows you to apply the data and learn about health issues like the major health issues facing Americans and conditions frequently experienced by people with health profiles similar to yours.
“Unfortunately the survey showed most Americans are avoiding the one person who could help them live healthier,” says Bisordi. “It’s time for Americans to have a more collaborative relationship with their health care providers, and we believe that improving your knowledge of good health is the best way to start.”