Getting Prepared for your Healthcare Visit
It can be very stressful to see your provider, for many reasons. As a clinician, I try to come prepared to each and every visit. I feel the patient can prepare, too.
1. Make a list!
I much prefer when someone has a list and has their thoughts organized.
Bring lists of medications, any test results, to your appointment.
So often in our healthcare system, a patient goes to more than one medical provider. Labs, imaging, diagnostic tests are done. I frequently hear the frustration of patients’; that they assume ALL of their data is accessible to me as the provider on my computer/health record. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If you go to an outside lab, imaging center, or other provider, it is wise to ask for a copy of your results/report and bring it with you.
2. Include family
One of my pet peeves as a provider is when the patient has no one to help them at their appointment. This can range from young to old patients. Whether someone is hearing impaired, has a language barrier, uncomfortable telling their history, or has dementia, it is necessary to help your friend or family at their medical appointment.
If you need an interpreter, you have the right to one; just ask :D
3. Update your provider
Sometimes I forget to ask if my patient has been in the ER or urgent care since last visit. I swear, we do not know it all! Please update your provider with ER/urgent care visits, new medications, new treatments, and anything that is new and/or bothersome (ex: new headaches, increased depression or insomnia, etc.)
Coming to your visit prepared can ensure a smooth time with your provider. And we will be happy that our patient is getting thorough care, instead of missing pertinent details.