A Guide to Being Your Own Healthcare Advocate and Why It’s Important

Healthcare advocates ensure that people are fully aware of their entire health history, while also being empowered to ask questions and provide input to medical professionals. While friends and family can serve as your trusted advocates, it’s also important for you to advocate for your own health and wellness.

The first step is to ensure easy access to medical records, which can help you gain a better understanding of your health. This knowledge allows you to make data-driven decisions that can help improve the quality of care you receive, which in turn can improve the outcome.


Along with access to essential records, there are other steps you can take to gain greater control over your health. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Review Your Insurance Policy – Knowing what your plan covers, such as annual screenings and check-ups, ensures you can make appointments as needed.
  • Know Your Family’s Medical History – Family history can impact risk when it comes to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic conditions. It’s also important for doctors to know your family history to ensure you’re regularly screened for any diseases that run in your family.
  • Prepare for Doctor’s Appointments – Making a list of questions or concerns before an appointment allows you to make the most of visits when time is limited. You should also jot down any new symptoms or issues you’re experiencing so they can be efficiently assessed.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up – Good communication between patients and medical professionals is crucial. If you don’t understand something a doctor is telling you, ask questions. If you’re reluctant to speak up, bring a friend or family member to appointments to do so for you.
  • Take Notes During Appointments – Notes can help you remember important details of the visit. If you have the doctor’s permission, you can also record the visit using a mobile device.
  • Seek Out Electronic Records Storage – Your personal medical records can also provide a lot of insight into your health. Accordingly, you should have a reliable method of storing and sharing healthcare data when necessary. Medical records include so much important information, such as health conditions, medications, surgical procedures, allergies, and other essential data.

In the event of an emergency, easy access to and sharing of medical records can have a direct impact on the outcome. In this case, a free app like DrOwl makes it easy to store, access, and share your medical history as needed. This app allows you to store information from thousands of providers, including the VA, Medicare, and more. DrOwl also enables you to see physician-trusted resources that are specific to your conditions and save up to 80% on your prescriptions.

When you advocate for your own health, it can have a massive impact on the quality of care you receive. It also allows you to make smart healthcare decisions, such as seeking out a second opinion when it comes to diagnoses and treatments. While doctors and other medical professionals are vital for helping you maintain overall well-being, being your own advocate ensures you remain an active participant in the care you receive and can help you get better outcomes.