5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Doctor Appointment
Your active participation and a little planning will ensure your doctor provides you the best health care possible. Your healthcare providers are here to serve you, teach you how to maintain good health and resolve any medical concerns that arise. And you play a very important and active role in helping your doctors do their job in keeping you on the path to wellness. How? By making the most of the one-on-one time with have your healthcare providers. According to Dennis Rochier, MD, Medical Director of Primary Care, Renown Medical Group, there are five things you can do to ensure you get the most out of your doctor visits:
- Communicate your concerns when scheduling the appointment. Plan ahead. Consider any and all health issues you’d like to discuss with your doctor. Make a list if necessary. If you only mention one problem when scheduling, you are likely to be given a shorter appointment, which will hinder your doctor’s ability to address all of your medical concerns, so it’s important to not only be prepared for your actual office visit, but also when you call to schedule your appointment.
- Prioritize your concerns. Be sure you discuss what is most important to you first in case something must be delayed until a future visit.
- Bring your actual medications to your appointment. Most patient injuries stem from medication missteps: taking an incorrect dose or the wrong drug, or not considering your known allergies and how different medications may interact adversely. If your doctors do not have a complete picture of your medication regime, they cannot prescribe accurately and safely. Bringing your actual medication bottles instead of a list of medications is also helpful.
- Arrive early, especially if you are a new patient. To keep your personal details current — including insurance and address — doctor offices require you to update your information at each visit. Find out how early you should arrive when you schedule your appointment so you can complete paperwork ahead of time and thus dedicate your visit solely to your health concerns.
- Know your health plan’s coverage and rules. Individual health plans and coverage vary. You can assist by understanding your benefits so your doctors can prescribe medications, refer you to the proper specialists if necessary or order additional testing that your insurance will cover.
Remember, your doctor truly appreciates the trust you have placed in him or her. These simple steps will help you get the most from your health care experience. So get involved, do you part and help your doctors do theirs. Your body and mind will thank you.