Getting the Right Care

Good health care is the right care, at the right time, for the right reason. The quality of health care varies, but trustworthy, public information can help you decide what test or treatment is best for you and if the care meets accepted standards.

When working with your provider

  • Your doctor should be using the appropriate tests or procedures for your age, gender and medical history.
  • You should get health services when you need them and before you get sicker.
  • You should get health services you actually need, nothing more and nothing less.

Quality varies widely from one provider's office to another, and even from one doctor's patient to another. Doctors committed to quality will not only welcome your involvement but also encourage it. While your doctor should be able to direct you to reliable information on a health topic that affects you and talk to you about your options, you have a major role to play when it comes to your health and well-being.

Your role in getting the right care

Here are a few ways to make sure you're getting the right care:

  • Find health quality information from reliable sources, such as the Washington Health Alliance's Community Checkup or Medicare's Hospital Compare website.
  • Be an active member of your healthcare team. Work with your doctor to make decisions about your care.
  • Do your homework. Go online or use the library to learn more about your condition and treatment options before your doctor's appointment. Talk to your doctor about what you've learned.

Getting the Right Care Resources


More Resources:

Bone-density tests: When you need them and when you don't

(American Academy of Family Physicians)

Effective Health Care Program

(Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Getting the Right Care

(Own Your Health)

Guide to Health Care Quality

(Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

How should you treat heartburn and GERD?

(American Gastroenterological Association)

When do you need antibiotics for sinusitis?

(American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology)

When do you need a Pap test?

(American Academy of Family Physicians)

When do you need an imaging test for a headache?

(American College of Radiology)

When do you need imaging tests for lower back pain?

(American Academy of Family Physicians)