Perhaps you are one of the fortunate Americans with good health. At our house that is not the case. We spend a lot of time with the healthcare industry.
Our daughter is a nurse educator in a cutting edge hospital. She tells me part of implementing the Affordable Care Act is a push toward educating the public. The medical world is finding they have a very steep hill to climb in doing this
Personally I've found Americans 65 and older tend to fall into two groups:
1) They view the medical world negatively from some past experience and have closed their minds against having a positive experience. They prefer complaining. It's much easier to complain and find fault that it is to become educated. Education takes time and requires involvement. Not interested.
2) The folks in this group are still in good health. It's depressing to think about the time coming they might need more healthcare. They'll think about it if that time comes. Not interested.
An educated public would significantly reduce the cost of healthcare in America.
No one can force you to be educated, they can however attempt to educate you using the drip method, drip, drip, drip. These are some of the things I'm noticing in the hospital and clinics we use.
a) More pamphlets and printed educational materials.
b) Instead of music while you're on hold you may hear a healthcare message playing in your ear. I noticed that for the first time this morning when I was on hold. What a concept.
c) The clinic we use now has a flatscreen monitor in the waiting room that plays a continual loop of healthcare messaging while you wait.
d) Our hospital system has a portal where patients can access all kinds of good stuff. Bob gets an email every time he has blood work done. It contains a link to his medical records so he can review the results of that lab work.
I've received messages informing me it was time for a mammogram, and one about it being time for a colonoscopy.
I can email the clinic and ask for an appointment. Much easier than waiting on hold on the phone if you don't need the appointment immediately.
I'm told they began in January rolling out text messaging through the system. It hasn't made it to any of the offices we use yet but I'm eager for it to get to us. I love text messaging.
e) Advertising on the side of buses. Imagine my surprise the other day when I stopped next to a city bus, looked over and there was my doctor smiling at me with a healthcare message from the side of the bus!
Be prepared to be educated by drips. Education is a cost cutter.