Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archival print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Archives: Navigating the Health Care System

Former AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D., prepared brief, easy-to-understand advice columns for consumers to help navigate the health care system. They address important issues such as how to recognize high-quality health care, how to be an informed health care consumer, and how to choose a hospital, doctor, and health plan.
Date   Title
6/11/13 Not Just the Baby Blues: Screening Can Help Address Postpartum Depression
5/10/13 Hopeful Signs on a Long Road to a Better Health System
4/9/13 Health Law at Three Years Highlights Coverage, Cost, and Quality Improvements
3/5/13 New Primary Care Focus Helps Patients Take Better Care of Themselves
2/5/13 New Tools Help Health Providers Reduce Patients' Risk of Falls
1/8/13 Make Good on Your Resolution To Quit Smoking
12/14/12 Resources to Help You Stay Healthy in the New Year
11/9/12 Tool Helps Hospital Staff Improve Communications for Patients with Limited English Skills
10/2/12 Teamwork a Key Feature of Patient Safety Improvement Program
9/4/12 Helping You Avoid Return Trips to the Hospital
8/7/12 Get Up-to-Date on Shots Before Summer Ends
7/10/12 Revealing Medical Errors Helps Chicago Hospitals Build a Safer Health System 2012
6/5/12 Avoid Broken Bones: Learn About Low Bone Density
5/1/12 One Step Forward on Quality Improvement, One Step Back on Access
4/3/12 Consumers Learning To Recognize High-Value Health Care Providers
3/6/12 New Processes Can Help Hospitals Spot - and Stop - Drug Errors
2/712 Million Hearts Campaign Aims to Lower Risk, Improve Care
12/6/11 Tools Help You Choose a Good Nursing Home
11/1/11 How to Get a Good Value When Choosing a Health Plan
10/4/11 New Initiative Urges Better Communication between Clinicians and Patients
9/6/11 Research on Women's Health Issues Informs Treatment Choices
8/2/11 Why You Need to Explore Your Treatment Options
7/5/11 Resources to Help You Be a Better Caregiver
6/7/11 New Public Service Campaign Urges Hispanics To Talk With Their Doctor
5/3/11 Safety Culture Creates Better Care for Patients
4/5/11 Health IT Tools Help with Care and Costs
3/1/11 What You Can Do To Prevent A Fall
2/1/11 Focus on Heart Health
1/4/11 Your Options for Treating Rotator Cuff Tears
12/7/10 Don't Let Medicines Cause Harm
11/2/10 Quitting Smoking: You Can Do It.
10/5/10 Focus on Obesity
9/7/10 Improving Your Health Literacy
8/3/10 Treating High Cholesterol
7/6/10 Why It's Wise to Use a Health Advocate
6/1/10 How to Avoid the Round-Trip Visit to the Hospital
5/4/10 Healthcare-Associated Infections: They Can Happen to You
4/6/10 Same-Day Surgery: What You Should Know
3/2/10 Comparing Blood Pressure Medicines
2/2/10 Comparing Diabetes Drugs
1/5/10 Comparing Medical Treatments for Antidepressants
11/3/09 Does Your Hospital Do A Good Job?
10/6/09 Open Enrollment: What To Consider When Choosing a Health Plan
9/15/09 What You Need to Know about Blood Thinner Pills
9/1/09 How to Make an Emergency Department Visit a Safe On
8/18/09 Personalized Medicine's Frontier Is Coming Into View
8/4/09 An Aspirin a Day? The Answer is Different for Men and Women
7/21/09 Hospital Advisory Councils Get Patients' View on Safer Health Care
7/7/09 Talking About End-of-life Treatment Decisions
6/16/09 Keeping Track of Your Health Information
6/2/09 New Reports Show Weak Progress on Health Quality
5/19/09 Coordinating Your Care with a Medical Home
5/5/09 Asking Questions to Get the Care You Need
4/21/09 Off-Label Drugs: What You Need to Know
4/7/09 Comparative Effectiveness Research: What It Means for You
3/17/09 How To Complain - And Get Heard
3/3/09 How Tired Is Your Doctor?
2/17/09 New Web Tool Helps You Choose a Nursing Home
2/3/09 How to Choose Long-Term Care Services
1/21/09 New Hope for Chronic Disease Management
1/6/09 Ready to Lose Weight in the New Year? Experts Offer Guidance for Adults and Children
12/16/08 Better Information Helps Patients When They Leave the Hospital
12/2/08 Online Tools Help Patients Find Good Health Information
11/18/08 Guides Help Patients Find Their Best Treatment Options
11/5/08 Keeping Healthy When the Economy Is Not
10/21/08 Payment Change Puts Spotlight on Preventing Hospital Errors
10/7/08 Checklist Helps Men Keep on Track to Good Health
9/16/08 Checklist Helps Women Give Equal Time to Their Health Needs
9/2/08 Helpful Steps To Take After You Get a Diagnosis
8/19/08 How To Use Hospital Emergency Rooms Wisely
8/5/08 Checklists Help Men and Women Stay Healthy at 50-Plus
7/15/08 Tips To Help You Find a Good Doctor
7/1/08 Simple Steps Can Reduce Health Care-Associated Infections
6/17/08 Do Your Homework Before You Choose A Hospital
6/3/08 Smart Choices: How to Choose a Health Plan That's Right for You
5/20/08 What's Your Health Literacy Score?
5/6/08 Real Men Wear Gowns - And Help Their Health
4/15/08 Superhéroes Ads Encourage Hispanics to Get Involved in Their Own Heal
3/18/08 Balancing Treatment Advice: Benefits, Risks, and Personal Choice
3/4/08 Big Strides, not Small Steps, Needed to Boost Health Care Quality
2/19/08 Busting Myths About Health Care Quality
2/5/08 Asking Questions About Medical Tests
1/16/08 What to Ask Before Surgery
12/18/07 Where Medical Errors Occur and Steps You Can Take to Avoid Them
12/4/07 Facing the Facts--Get Involved to Get Better Care
11/20/07 Health Care Quality: Take A Closer Look
10/30/07 Becoming an Involved Health Care Consumer
10/16/07 Recognizing High-Quality Health Care
Page last reviewed September 2015
Internet Citation: Archives: Navigating the Health Care System . September 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care