Health Care

5 Ways a Women's Hospital Shines

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Women are special. And their health care should be, too.

That's why tailored just-for-women health care is what we do best across our network of care at AdventHealth for Women. Women's Health Navigator Doreen Forsythe, BSN, RN, shares how AdventHealth for Women provides a connected network of personalized care for life.

The Building Blocks of Just-for-Women Care

When people think of women's health, most jump right to reproductive medicine, but a whole-person approach to care involves much more. Forsythe shares, "The goal with AdventHealth for Women was to look at women's health not just from a reproductive standpoint but across a woman's lifespan and outside of the traditional disciplines that automatically come to mind."

Forsythe adds, "This inspired AdventHealth for Women to create a more women-focused, integrated program that provides comprehensive health care in the way that's most convenient for women throughout every stage of life."

Here are five ways she supports a health care system for women that shines.

1. Tailored Health Care for a Woman's Physiology and Needs

Women have a different physiological make-up compared to men. “For example, women may metabolize certain drugs, present with disease and even respond to treatments in different ways than men. At AdventHealth for Women, we're focused on being more nuanced in delivering care and we consider the individual woman's complete medical picture,” explains Forsythe.

Women's care at AdventHealth for Women has an emphasis on the prevention, early detection and treatment of cardiac (heart) disease and cancer because these diseases are both prevalent and, at times, express themselves in ways not well understood until more recently.

For example, Forsythe explains that cardiac disease can present very differently in women compared to men. "If we look at cardiac disease, certain symptoms, such as chest pain and pressure or shortness of breath, have historically been considered typical symptoms of a heart attack. Over time, we have discovered that some women and even some men experiencing a heart attack will present with symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, fainting or extreme fatigue."

"The American Heart Association has recognized differences in not only how women present with heart attacks, but also the physiological mechanisms underlying such events as well as clinical outcomes (for example, women are less likely to be referred to a cardiologist). When building our women's care program, we recognize these differences and create models of care to account for them," Forsythe notes.

2. Convenient, Accessible Women's Care

Women have a lot on their plate, serving many roles for their families, professions and communities. Knowing this, AdventHealth for Women aims to raise awareness about how important it is for women to prioritize their health. Making care convenient is one way we help to protect their well-being. "We put systems in place to be more flexible in how we try to integrate services so that our female patients are more likely to get the services they need in a timely fashion," says Forsythe.

One example of how AdventHealth does this is through our integrated patient portal systems. The portal allows patients to log in and find their information easily, so they don't have to call or wait for something to come in the mail. This technology also puts a patient's medical information at the fingertips of their medical provider.

"We're dedicated to helping women, and that means thinking about child care, times of the day that we need to be open for services, and having a better understanding of our patients' schedules and needs," says Forsythe.

3. A Network of Women's Care for Life

When you think of a hospital, you might think of white sterile walls and long hallways, but there's a different thought at AdventHealth. Forsythe explains, "The hospital is more than just this building or our campuses; it really exists throughout the community."

She adds, "The hospital is here when you need critical or higher-level care, but out in the community, we want to make sure women keep connected to their providers and connected to us; we focus on delivering care to patients where they are, whether it's in a hospital, an office setting or clinic, a mobile unit or a freestanding emergency room," she emphasizes.

She adds, "We have navigators on the campuses that help women to find the best place to locate an internal medicine provider or family medicine provider, a specialist or even where they can take their child for the best pediatric care."

This tailored approach to women's care spans any age. We are here for you in adolescence and throughout adulthood to provide the health care services you need.

4. Comprehensive Women's Care

In addition to providing a vast list of medical specialty services, AdventHealth for Women's individual care plan approach is comprehensive.

For example, we offer emotional support services for pregnant and postpartum moms struggling with depression. Recent data indicates that mental health disorders have become a leading contributor to maternal deaths in the months after childbirth. Early recognition of symptoms and prompt management are effective in reducing the risk of more serious complications of depression.

This is just one example of how AdventHealth for Women keeps women connected with comprehensive services. Whether locating a primary care doctor or finding behavioral services, patients are directed to the care they need as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep their health and well-being continuous. Forsythe states, "We've made things as convenient and comprehensive as possible in one place."

5. Compassionate Women's Preventive Care

AdventHealth for Women understands that it's challenging to keep up with annual check-ups and routine medical care, especially if you're concerned about your health and charged with taking care of others.

"Often, it's hard for women not to put off annual checkups, particularly if they fear something may be wrong; a lot of women are afraid and don't want to know more about what could be a health concern," explains Forsythe. She continues, "My advice to women relates to the analogy of the safety instructions given on a plane: put the face mask on yourself first because you're not going to be able to help anyone else if you don't put your health as your top priority."

Helping women get screenings for good health is a focus at AdventHealth for Women, which includes monitoring routine blood work for cholesterol and encouraging mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and other screening measures that can prevent future health problems.

"We help women by ensuring the quality and convenience of our screenings and preventive exams and extend a compassionate hand when needed," Forsythe explains.

She also suggests contacting a friend or support network who can be by your side to comfort you during an appointment if needed. Forsythe concludes, "In addition to your friends, family and community, we are always a trusted resource to encourage your lifelong health journey."

To begin your journey with us, visit our website.

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