Choosing Yourself as a Health Care Provider
“Self-Care” is individuals making their own decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment of health problems, as well as preventive care. These days we know how important “choices” are in health care — the right doctor, the right insurance plan, the right price. But for simple ailments, millions of Americans are choosing themselves as their own providers of health care. And why not? Recent studies have shown that on average, U.S. citizens encounter a medical problem that is treatable without involving a health professional every three days! As a nation, we’re just as inclined to self-treat our children, too: parents keep an average of 5.5 non-prescription medications in the home for treatment of childhood illnesses (remember that commercial about Dr. Mom? It’s true!).
Conditions Treatable Without a Doctor’s Care or Prescription Continue to Grow
In the past 10 years, the U.S. has seen an explosion in over-the-counter (OTC) remedies (that is, medicines not requiring a doctor’s prescription). Many medicines have recently moved from prescription to OTC, eliminating the need for doctor visits for dozens of low-risk medical conditions such as yeast infections, allergic rashes, allergies, heartburn, etc. Unfortunately, public knowledge regarding self-treatment of these and other minor conditions has lagged behind the flood of newly available medications.
Escaping the “Self-Care Information Void”
So, safe and effective treatments are available without a doctor visit, but when and exactly how do we use the medications? The Self-Care Advisory is the answer to this “information void.”
- Home health books or brochures are outdated almost as soon as they are printed, due to publishing lag time. Quick Care constantly updates the Self-Care Advisory web site, so you’ll have the latest information and newest product recommendations possible.
- Physicians generally focus on prescription treatments, and may be less able to inform you about OTC products which can be just as effective. The Self-Care Advisory focuses on off-the-shelf medication to relieve illness, and when to see your doctor for further care.
- Even though pharmacists are well-informed about availability and appropriate use of OTC products, they aren’t trained to diagnose or treat even minor ailments. The Self-Care Advisory is written and updated by physicians who have treated these illnesses in an office-based setting for years. We’ll help you through the basics of self-diagnosis.
- Companies which manufacture and promote non-prescription drugs traditionally concentrate on advertising the product, not educating the consumer about an illness, its causes, or how to gain relief. Use the Self-Care Advisory as your source for this essential information.
How to Find the Information You Need
The information contained in Quick Care’s Self-Care Advisory is authored by physicians and pharmacists, but designed for consumers. Each topic is organized into four components:
The Basics: This section describes the “nuts and bolts” of the illness or condition, how and why it occurs, basic anatomy and physiology, and of course how to identify whether or not one has the ailment.Prevention: If the adverse health condition can be avoided, this section outlines the necessary steps.
Treatment at Home: Here the array of OTC medicine choices is reviewed, as well as advice on non-medical treatment methods. Surprisingly, not all medications on drug store shelves have been proven safe and effective to the satisfaction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; the Self-Care Advisory explains how the effective medications work and when to use them.
When to Seek Professional Care: For most of the topics discussed in Quick Care’s Self-Care Advisory, home treatment and time alone resolve the ailment. But occasionally, simple conditions progress to complicated ones despite treatment. It’s important to know when to see a doctor or other health professional, and you’ll find the guidelines in this last section of each topic.
Quick Care’s Self-Care Advisory Medication Review Process
The purpose of Quick Care’s Self-Care Advisory is to educate the public about minor ailments and products available for self treatment. Readers must understand what the products are used for and when they should be used. But they also must be confident that the treatment has been shown to work as intended, and is considered safe.