Create your own personalized health care plan

Author: Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 22 2013 08:08:30 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 22 2013 12:00:00 AM EST

Health care is beginning to get personal. More and more people are sharing information with their doctors that will help them put together a personalized health plan.

Dr. Kathryn Teng, director of the Center of Personalized Health Care at Cleveland Clinic, says the first step is talking to family members about your health history.

"Collect this information, share it with your doctor, talk to your doctors about what your health goals are so they can help map-out for you and with you how you're going to reach those health goals," she advised.

Teng says a personalized health care plan combines biologic information with your preferences. Biologic information comes from blood work or genetics. She says this information is combined with the information you share with your doctor about what diseases or conditions run in your family.

Your health plan preferences may involve your religious beliefs or even environmental factors that may steer you towards one treatment over another. Teng says it's a proactive way to approach your health care and gets everyone on the same page.

"If you don't give us the information we don't know," said Teng. "We just give you blanket recommendations, but if we know this individualized information, the things that make you at risk, as opposed to somebody else, then we can really cater and gear and personalize those care plans for you."

Teng says no one is going to look out for you, more than you.  So, she says you must take care of yourself first.