The way our healthcare system is currently designed, our nurses and doctors simply don’t have the time to be able to spend as much quality time with us during our visits as we’d like. Because of this, we need to come as prepared as possible so that we are sure to address our most important health questions and concerns.
The relationship we have with our doctors is so important, especially as we age and our healthcare needs become more urgent and significant. Here are ways to improve your relationship with your doctor and ensure you are getting the most out of your appointments:
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. It may go without saying, but arrive early to your appointment. Bring a list of all your current medications (including vitamins and supplements) and bring a list or notes of your recent health problems or concerns to reference.
2. Prioritize your concerns. Make a list of everything that you’d like to ask, but then categorize them into what is the most important. This way, if you run out of time, you at least will have addressed the most pressing issues.
3. Record your visit. There are many apps you can download on your phone that allow you to record. This could be a good option to be able to reference your visit later. If you’re not technologically savvy, you can take notes yourself or bring a friend or family member to take notes for you.
4. Ask how to reach your doctor after hours. Oftentimes your doctor will give you their personal cell phone or email address to reach them after hours. Don’t be shy. Ask them if you have permission to reach out if you have additional questions.
5. Learn to use electronic health records. EHRs are there to make your healthcare easier and more accessible. Ask the nurse or front desk staff to walk you through how to access your health profile online so you have access to your records and educational material.
6. If you aren’t pleased with your doctor, speak up. You aren’t tied to your current doctor. If they aren’t meeting your needs or they aren’t supporting you the way you expect, bring it to their attention. If it continues, find another doctor who will!
Inter Valley Health Plan hosts classes regularly on health and vitality. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit forhealthandliving.com/ivhpevents.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan