Four Easy Steps Can Make You A More Empowered Patient

Make the most of your healthcare experience with tips to help you become a more empowered patient.

empowered patient

Are you empowered to make smart, informed decisions about your healthcare? Learning how to be an empowered patient helps you make the most of your healthcare experience. Empowered patients work collaboratively with their healthcare team. They know that when they participate actively in their medical decisions and commit to a mutually agreed upon plan, they enjoy a better patient experience and improved medical outcomes.

Summit encourages you to be an empowered participant in your care

At Summit Orthopedics, we are committed to supporting you in making the healthcare decisions that best serve your health objectives. We take a team approach to patient care—and you are a critical member of the healthcare team. When you are empowered with information to understand your treatment choices, you are in a better position to choose the path that is best for your values and lifestyle. An empowered patient finds a specialist with expertise in treating a medical condition. They review the treatment options available and select the one that best meets their personal goals now and in the future. And they personally commit to the therapy and rehabilitation crucial to full recovery.

Steps used by an empowered patient to make healthcare decisions

At Summit Orthopedics, we encourage you to make empowered decisions about your healthcare. There are four easy steps you can take, and we’ve provided resources to make those steps even easier. Following these steps will help you to choose the medical care that you need, want, and deserve.

An empowered patient selects the specialist best qualified to treat his or her condition.
When it comes to your medical care, seeking out specialty training and quality of care is critical. That’s why we offer orthopedic teams with specialized training and focused expertise, and make it easy for you to learn about our subspecialty physicians. On our website, you’ll read about our annual Top Doctor and Rising Star recognition in the community. You can find out about each physician’s fellowship training and years of experience treating the condition you have. Watch physician videos to hear them tell you about their practice approach. We know that when you do your homework before you choose your doctor, you build a foundation for confident collaboration.

An empowered patient understands his or her diagnosis.
Following your medical examination, you and your doctor will have a conversation about your diagnosis. At Summit, we take the time to help you understand your condition. And we encourage questions. But our educational resources don’t end in your doctor’s office. Your Summit team of physician assistants, care coordinators, nurses, and physical therapists are available to answer additional questions that may come up. In addition, our Summit Orthopedics website can be accessed at your convenience and offers hundreds of educational articles and videos. And we are happy to recommend additional trusted resources like orthoinfo.aaos.org, the informational website of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

An empowered patient evaluates treatment options.
Frequently, orthopedic conditions can be managed with a wide array of treatments ranging from conservative approaches like medication or physical therapy to a variety of surgical procedures. That’s why, at Summit, we begin by considering the least invasive treatment options. We don’t pressure you to consider surgery, because we know that many of our patients’ conditions can be managed without it. We also take a medication approach that discourages reliance on opioids.

Your personal preferences matter when you are evaluating your options. Be frank about your health goals and the lifestyle priorities that matter most to you. If your doctor is recommending one treatment over another, find out why. Discuss how unique aspects of your lifestyle may affect his or her recommendation. Use our articles as additional reference information after your visit. They’ll help you to learn more about the specialized treatments our physicians offer and what you can expect during your care. We want you to be confident that your treatment decision will meet    your unique health objectives. That means taking the time to gather the facts, identify all appropriate treatments, and weigh the pros and cons of each option.

An empowered patient participates actively in treatment.
Especially in orthopedics, patients who are committed to their recovery experience the greatest benefit. Active engagement in your health may mean taking on preventative activities like weight loss or strength building with a Summit performance specialist. For others, following a postsurgical rehabilitation plan to the letter can make all the difference. Summit’s wellness center and advanced physical therapy programs can be tailored to help you reach ambitious athletic goals. From preventative fitness to reclaiming superior function following surgery, we have the resources to support your needs.

A final thought: your patient experience can help to empower others

These steps are designed to help you assess and choose the best treatments for your orthopedic care. If you find them helpful, there is a further step you can take to help empower other patients just like you. When you provide us with feedback about your care, we learn from you how to make our services better. Your generous act benefits other patients who, like you, value information that guides them to informed medical decisions. We encourage you to review our physicians and services. Your feedback helps us to learn and improve—and empowers other patients to also make informed decisions.

At Summit Orthopedics, great patient outcomes are our highest priority. We empower you with the information and resources you need to achieve your health goals. When you choose a Summit specialized medical expert, you have access to the best treatments available. By working with your specialist to understand your diagnosis, you empower yourself to make healthcare decisions with trust and confidence. And when you provide us with feedback about your care, your generosity empowers other patients to choose an excellent care experience, too.

Summit Orthopedics supports healthy communities

Community health flourishes when specialized orthopedic care is conveniently available close to home. Summit Orthopedics is proud of our fellowship-trained subspecialty teams offering the full spectrum of orthopedic expertise in bone, tendon, ligament, muscle, and joint conditions—in addition to our wellness, prevention, and rehabilitation services. We have the expertise to proactively improve fitness, evaluate discomfort, and deliver personalized treatment to quickly and safely return you to the lifestyle you love.

Start your journey to a healthier, more active self. Visit our Facebook page to learn about our wellness services and schedule a free wellness consultation online. Find your orthopedic expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNVadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.

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