“The Take-Charge Patient”: Why This Book is an Outstanding Resource!

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Author, Patient Advocate, Speaker and Patient, Martine Ehrenclou, M.A. has written a well-researched, understandable, comprehensive and powerful book that will help patients navigate our complex healthcare system while positively contributing to the evolution of the system itself!  “The Take-Charge Patient:  How YOU Can Get the Best Medical Care” is an outstanding resource for a variety of reasons.

The material covered includes communicating with physician(s) and the healthcare team, preventing medication errors, choosing and becoming a patient advocate, navigating a hospital stay, understanding your insurance plan, negotiating discounts, disease prevention, and legal documents.  She also provides information on chronic care, telemedicine, concierge practices, tests and procedures and more.  That’s why it is a comprehensive book.  Ehrenclou’s writing is successful in explaining many complicated aspects of our healthcare system in a way that is understandable and engaging!

In addition to sharing her own story, she utilizes other patient’s stories, quotes from healthcare professionals, resources, and a very exciting two-pronged approach to ‘Patient Safety Checklists’.  There are checklists at the end of many chapters and additional checklists grouped at the end of the book.   They empower patients with questions designed to take ownership of their care with things that they are responsible for and holding physicians, nurses and pharmacists accountable for their roles. This is an extremely important step creating more collaborative healthcare teams and systems.

For example the first three questions are taken from chapter 2, (How to Become a Take-Charge Patient) and the second three from an addendum at the end of the book, (Patient Safety Checklists and Sample Questions for Yourself and Your Doctor).

“Am I ready to be a team player in my healthcare?”

“Am I ready to ask questions when I don’t understand something?”

“Am I ready to understand what medications I’m taking?”

“What will the surgery do for me?”

“What happens if the surgery is not successful?”

“Would you mind if I talked with one or two of your other patients who had the surgery?”

In addition to individual use, I can envision it as a teaching resource for:

  • High School health courses.
  • Adult educational programs.
  • Hospital community outreach education efforts.

In a next edition or subsequent book, there is room for more emphasis on nursing, additional healthcare team members, (P.T., O.T., S.T, MSW, and para professionals) rehabilitation and long-term care.

Overall, the “Take-Charge Patient” is a great book for a lot of reasons.  It is an outstanding book because of it’s ability progress our system from an old ‘us – them’ paternalistic model to a  progressive ‘we’ collaborative one.  I believe this is critical for safer, kinder, more cost-effective care.

The book is available in paperback and kindle and currently selling at Amazon $13.67 and $7.69 respectively.

Reviewed by Beth Boynton, RN, MS


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4 Responses to “The Take-Charge Patient”: Why This Book is an Outstanding Resource!

  1. Yoga Nurse says:

    Thanks for this Beth. Excellent review. this is SOOOO needed. I will pass the word. And I’m all for nurses being the first line as we nurses know for advocating. This is in fact a new niche for nurse entrepreneurs too, helping patients to navigate the HC system. Best!

    • Thanks, for your feedback and sharing, Annette! I think we’ll move mountains as patients and nurses are aligned and informed! Also, any nurse entrepreneurs out there who would like to write a blog post for Confident Voices re: this kind of advocacy please email me: beth@bethboynton.com.

  2. Looks pretty awesome. I love seeing patients advocate for themselves and others!

    • Beth Boynton says:

      Me too! I think have changed alot from when I was first out of nursing school, over 25 years ago….it seems like we have a ways to go, yet lots of shifting going on!

What are your thoughts?