The health care environment gives patients limited time that they can spend with their physicians. Accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and quality ongoing care require the involvement of patients and doctors. Successful outcomes of medical appointments can be achieved with a few key considerations in mind.
Descriptive and Organized
- Describing the problem effectively is a major aspect of how productive the appointment will be. Although physical exams and tests provide the physician with valuable information, your history gives him or her direction.
- Organizing your history and general presentation will make it much easier for the provider to give a diagnosis.
- Suggestions that are worth considering include keeping a journal of symptoms, asking family or friends to help you get ready for the appointment, being as specific as you can when you give the doctor information and talking about the issues that are most important to you first.
- A medical appointment gives you a chance to discuss health problems and having expectations can pave the way for utilizing your time efficiently and gaining the benefits of good healthcare.
Anticipate the Doctor’s Questions
Anticipate some of the questions that the doctor is likely to ask you about your health issue and the symptoms. The doctor may ask were you feel the pain, when it started, what triggers it, what makes it worse or better, if you have days that are pain-free, severity, frequency and whether there are other symptoms.
These are some of the questions that are applicable for a variety of issues and symptoms. Thinking about how you will answer them before you go for your appointment means that you will require less time to gibe response. This leaves you with more time that you can use to discuss your health concerns before your appointment ends.
Record of Medication
- Doctors need to be aware of the medication that you have been taking, including prescriptions from other physicians.
- Take your medications or list all of them down to enable the doctor to understand aspects such as dosage and how often you take them.
- Maintain an updated record of regular medication to prevent drug interactions. It is common for many patients to see multiple specialists who prescribe a variety of drugs.
Providing Medical Records
If another doctor refers you, you may need to provide medical records. Patients usually have to authorize the exchange of their medical records between different physicians. You can contact the doctor to find out whether such arrangements will be made. Transferring your medical records can help to prevent the costs and risks of repeated tests and procedures.
Some of the questions that you can ask during the appointment should cover further evaluations, the prognosis, treatment options that are available, how long it takes for medication to work and when you may need to contact the doctor.
Make sure that you comprehend the basics of your health insurance and coverage. Knowing them in advance will enable your doctor to handle the paperwork faster to avoid delaying follow-up medical care. From the type of plan you have to knowing what your insurance covers, it is important to understand your health insurance.