As seen in the Calgary Herald, June 2017
Taking care of our health is the best investment we can make. When done right it saves us time, money and discomfort. But often we fail to make health a top priority because we just don’t have a spare moment. However, experts suggest a small investment of time in the short run will yield a hefty payoff over the long haul – and happily, there are some things we can do right now to save us a little extra time.
Dr. Omair Siddiqui, Family Physician at Copeman Healthcare in Calgary, acknowledges there are a lot of barriers that prevent us from putting our health first. Foremost among them is a scarcity of time.
“Busy professionals often lack the time to see their doctor. This includes making appointments for the most important annual health checks such as mammograms, prostate and colon cancer screening.”
This is unfortunate given that leaders often possess the perfect storm of health risk factors. Extensive travel causes disturbances to sleep, diet and exercise and when combined with chronic stress, long hours and insufficient time to relax our most important people are often our most at-risk.
So for those of us looking to carve out a little room for our health, here are 8 time-saving suggestions from the folks at Copeman Healthcare:
1. Skip the waiting room
Spending over an hour in the waiting room to see your doctor is not your only option. For instance, some private primary-care centres run appointments on-time. At Copeman, 95% of patients wait 10 minutes or less. Not waiting saves you time.
2. Avoid hurrying through appointments
If you spend more time in the waiting room than you do with your physician, something isn’t right. Collaborative care models ensure you enjoy all the time you need with members of your care team.
3. Ask for help navigating community care
Whether it relates to disease management or specialist referrals, concierge medicine that offers advocacy and navigation services can help save you endless hours trying to decode how things work.
4. Look for services located under one roof
Having all of your healthcare services at different locations can be time consuming. Collaborative care models that feature co-location means your entire care team including your physician, dietitian, kinesiologist and lab services are all tucked under one roof.
5. Seek 24/7 coverage
Comprehensive health programs that include ongoing care often come with 24/7 access to emergency medical advice from an on-call physician. Clients can also contact their healthcare team by email or phone if they are away on business or need a last minute prescription renewal.
6. Use tools to manage your health
Managing your health commitments, appointments and schedules can be tricky. Rather than stumble through, consider using technology to remind you of your next health checkup, lab test or exercise routine. Plus, with some tools, all health data collected from FitBits and health monitors can be collected and monitored in a single easy-to-use web platform.
7. Prevent disease from taking hold in the first place
The most important way to save time is by preventing disease from taking hold in the first place. Having a proactive, rather than reactive, attitude towards health can greatly reduce your chances of developing serious illnesses. And let’s face it; nothing is more annoying than downtime as a result of injury or illness.
8. Don’t delay, know your risks today
When it comes to prevention, knowing sooner is always better. Detecting things in the earliest stages when they are most treatable is always better than waiting until later when lengthy treatments may be needed.
And always remember to smile. It won’t save you time, but it will make you feel better.