Choose your doctor and hospital wisely, because, its YOUR health

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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 6:13 pm | Updated: 10:49 pm, Tue Dec 10, 2013.

A billboard, shingle or sign may not be the best way to choose your doctor. and although its not always possible in emergencies, who treats you medically can make the difference between life and death one local resident explained.

"I had neck pain, eye pain and fever like symptoms, and a lot, a lot of pain. I needed a lot of medicine" At forty-four years old, Betsy Gertz a paramedic, and registered nurse knew she was in trouble, she went to the E.R They sent her home and called later with results

"That night i was diagnosed with meningitis." She said. Her signs and symptoms became worse, her left side paralyzed, in and out conscious her family was told it was hopeless, she didn't made it home from that point. "I was transported from that facility to another facility having a craniectomy that night, with signs and symptoms of brain herniation."

Because of the second facilities protocol, Gertz was accurately diagnosed and treated for meningitis with herpes encephalitis.

Jean Opsut, V.P. over Quality Risk and Case Management of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota said where you go for treatment matters. "There are protocols related to different diagnosis or procedures." She explained, "Your primary care physician can help you find a specialist or specialist, but you can do a little checking of your own." she added, "if you need information about a physician in the State of Florida, the Department of Health is the licensing agency for all physicians."

In addition you can search on Google, and type in physicians, license, specialties. "There are a number of web-Sites that are out there that collect information on physicians," She said, "One of those would be Healthgrades.com."

Look for hospital clinic and doctor accreditation, and hospital privileges. "Hospitals as a whole have certain standards, and regulations that they have to follow,related to credentialing and privileging physicians."

Gertz said she doesn't want others to experience what she went through. "I had to learn the alphabet again, learn how to walk again."

Prior to her illness, Gertz taught firefighters, police officers and doctors world-wide. Now she focuses on her photography and art, and spends time with her service dog, Siesta.

She said, "We basically have to know where we're going, who is taking care of us who practices medicine with a lot of experience."

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