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ALERT for patients on Hormone Replacement Therapy:

Please be aware that as of August 1, 2010, all female patients that elect to have their Hormone Replacement Therapy prescribed through our office will be required to maintain their annual exams (pelvic/pap, breast exam, etc.) and mammograms directly through our office.

How to Decide When to Go to the Emergency Room
Lessening the Confusion of a Trip to the E.R.
How to Decide When to Go to the Emergency Room

Sometimes it's confusing to know where to go for medical care. But to get the proper care, it matters where you choose.

Doctor's office ? Unless you have a life threatening emergency, start with your doctor or clinic. They know your medical history and can provide basic care for common illnesses, minor injuries and routine health exams.

? Common illnesses: colds, flu, ear aches, sore throats, migraines, fever, rashes
? Minor injuries: sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, minor eye injuries
? Routine care: physicals, prescription refills, vaccinations, screenings
Urgent care clinics ? When your doctor is not available (usually during off hours or weekends), urgent care clinics provide care for non-life threatening medical issues that could become worse if you wait. Walk-in appointments are available. They are usually open extended hours and on weekends. Some are open 24/7.

? Common illnesses: colds, flu, ear aches, sore throats, migraines, fever, rashes
? Minor injuries: sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, minor eye injuries
Hospital emergency room ? You should use a hospital emergency room for very serious or life-threatening problems. Open 24/7, 365 days per year. If you have an emergency, DON'T WAIT! Dial 911 or get to the nearest hospital emergency room.

? Chest pain
? Severe abdominal pain
? Coughing or vomiting blood
? Severe burns
? Deep cuts or bleeding that won't stop
? Sudden blurred vision
? Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
? Sudden dizziness, weakness, or loss of coordination or balance
? Numbness in face, arm, or leg
? Sudden, severe headache
? Seizures
? High fevers
? Any other condition you believe is life threatening

Still not sure where to go for care? Many insurance companies and hospitals have a 24/7 nurse help line to help you decide where to go for care.

For more information, the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA), and the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) have developed a brochure that outlines where to go for health care. Click here for the brochure.


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6 Important Steps to Make You a Smart Patient

Statistics show that well-informed and involved patients have better health outcomes?fewer re-hospitalizations, fewer medical errors, and better coordination between health care providers. Patients must play an active role in their care and be proactive consumers of information.

It is estimated that more than 90 million people in the U.S. have difficulty understanding and using health information. They often take medicines inconsistently, miss follow-up appointments, and don't understand instructions like "take on an empty stomach."

6 ways you can help play a role in your safe care:



1. Ask Questions ? Nodding your head when you do not fully understand doesn't benefit you or your doctor. Make sure you really understand the answers to the following questions (from the National Patient Safety Foundation's Ask Me 3 campaign):
o What is my main problem?
o What do I need to do?
o Why is it important for me to do this?
2. Involve Your Loved Ones ? It's easy to be overwhelmed. Bring a family member or friend to help ask questions and understand the answers.
3. Know Your Medications and Supplements ? Give your doctor a list of all medications you take, including non-prescription medications, vitamins, and herbal remedies. The Washington Patient Safety Coalition has some helpful examples to get you started.

4. Wash Hands to Prevent Spread of Infection
5. Understand What Will Happen if You Are Admitted to the Hospital - If you are admitted to the hospital unexpectedly, your care may be taken over by a hospitalist. Talk with your physician about how he/she would like to be involved in your care while in the hospital.
6. Know What to Do After Discharge from the Hospital ? Make sure you fully understand the discharge instructions and review medications with your doctor or nurse. Ask them to provide a phone number to call if you have questions following your discharge.
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Right Action--

Strive to always do what is right--not in the eyes of others, but in your own HEART.

Others' thoughts are transitory--one moment they will love you, the next they will not.

ACT on what is right in your own heart and there will be victory.