Reviewer: MaryAnn Frances Troiano, DNP (Monmouth University School of Nursing and Health Studies)
Description: This important book helps individuals navigate the healthcare system with information about interacting with healthcare providers, understanding healthcare information, and how to make healthcare decisions. The previous edition was published in 2008.
Purpose: The main purpose is to help individuals make informed healthcare decisions. Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. The book reveals that nearly nine out of 10 adults may lack the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease. The book addresses the healthcare system concerns of individuals by providing facts about navigating the system, communicating with healthcare providers, and finding and evaluating health information.
Audience: The audience is patients, families, caregivers, and the general public. This book also would be useful for students who are in a health studies course to help them understand various aspects of basic consumer health information.
Features: Among the numerous aspects of managing diseases and the healthcare system, the book provides information about the essentials of a healthcare provider visit, the rationale for a hospital stay, and the individuals, procedures, financial commitments, and extraneous information that may accompany a hospital stay. The book is an excellent source of information regarding prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and complementary and alternative medicine. It is explicit in its coverage of medications, emphasizing various aspects of use, misuse, errors, and qualified information. The chapter on children and chronic disease highlights the many questions that families have regarding their sick child. The extensive information regarding handicapped children, the childhood diseases that are present in the school system, and the camps that provide care for the handicapped child are all helpful to the families. One of the key chapters covers legal, financial, and insurance issues. The information helps individuals understand the dynamics of the healthcare system and prepare them to ask appropriate questions and seek sufficient answers. The chapter on additional help and information is an excellent resource for individuals seeking assistance regarding various aspects of healthcare.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive book that clearly identifies every aspect of the healthcare system journey. It is written in simple, understandable terms and describes numerous aspects that individuals may encounter in maneuvering the dynamics of the healthcare system. It encompasses details of various aspects of the healthcare delivery system that may be overlooked or not explained completely by healthcare providers. It is an excellent reference to help individuals navigate the healthcare system.