Take control of your own health and healthcare experience. Be proactive and plan ahead for every doctor’s visit to ensure you receive the best care possible.
Healthcare providers are here to help you be well. They provide treatment, resources and education regarding any health issues that arise. And they offer powerful insight on how to get healthy and stay healthy.
Prepare for Your Doctor’s Appointment
You may not hold the medical degree, but you can improve upon the care you receive and get more out of your one-on-one doctor time simply by coming prepared. According to our experts, there are five things you can do to ensure you get the most out of your doctor’s visits.
- Communicate your concerns when scheduling the appointment. If you have multiple questions regarding your health, voice them when you schedule time with your doctor. Otherwise you are likely to be given a shorter appointment, and this means less time to discuss all of your concerns.
- Prioritize your concerns. Consider any and all health issues you’d like to discuss with your doctor. Write them down in order of importance and bring the list to your visit. Talk to your doctor first about the concerns that matter most in case something must be delayed until a future appointment.
- 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.
Renown’s MyChart can help you prepare for any doctor’s visit. Download the app and create an account to have test results, prescription information and family health history at your fingertips. You can even use MyChart to schedule an appointment. And if you live in a remote area, learn more about virtual visits with your care provider.