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Friday, September 2, 2011

Start with the Children #2

What would a curriculum to teach children about our healthcare system look like?  I'm thinking the audience is an 11th or 12th grade health class.  I figure that we get about 8-12 classes in a typical term, depending on the school system, each about 45-55 minutes long.  One of the challenges mentioned on today's #HITsm chat was the fact that engaged patients are still "the elite".  My thesis is that we don't teach the right skills to people.  Building upon my first Start with the Children post, I'm wondering if there is something that can be done about that.

Your rights (1-2 classes):
  • Rights to obtain medical records from your healthcare provider and to keep your health information correct, private and secure.  
  • Class assignment, write a letter to your healthcare provider requesting a copy of your records.  
  • Determine if your healthcare provider is aware of and participating in meaningful use.
  • Your rights to obtain emergency treatment.
  • Your rights to protest decisions about necessary treatment with your insurance company.
  • Your right to a second opinion.
  • Your rights to obtain health insurance.
Visiting your Doctor (3 classes):
  • What are the different types of medical professionals and what do they do?
  • What are vital signs and what do they say about your health?
  • How to report signs and symptoms effectively.
  • Asking questions
    • How will this treatment affect me?
    • What other treatment options are there?
    • How will the results of this test affect my care?
    • What is our plan?
  • What to do if you don't agree with your doctor.
  • How to read your medical records. 
  • Picking a doctor or hospital
Dealing with your insurer (2 classes):
  • Picking an insurance plan
    • What kinds of plans are there, and how do they differ?
  • Determining what treatments are covered and what are not
  • How to communicate with your insurer.
  • Pricing treatments and tests
  • Handling Disputes
Dealing with your pharmacist (1 class):

  • Not sure what to include here.

Dealing with an employer (1 class):
  • What to tell an employer about your health, what they can ask and cannot. (maybe covered in your rights)
  • How you employer might be able to help you with healthcare issues.
  • Healthcare related benefits and their value
If someone wants to help me develop a curriculum for my hometown, I'd be happy to approach the school superintendent with it. I think it could also be used for adults with a few modifications.  Any takers?