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Tips to Help You Communicate at Your Next Appointment

PHMC is concerned about your health and wants to hear from you! Communication with your provider is an important part of your health care. Getting ready for an appointment may not only save time, but your life. Read on for to help you prepare for and navigate through your next appointment so you can feel you best.

 

1. It’s a partnership!

You and your provider have a partnership and he or she wants to hear from you! It’s important that your provider is aware of symptoms, concerns, questions, and any recent changes in your health in order to provide optimal care. If there is something you do not understand, be sure to let your provider know.

 

2. Make a List

If you think you may forget, write it down. Keep a list of questions and updates you would like to discuss with your provider during your appointment. We recommend keeping all your medical information in one place so it will be easier to locate when you need it.

 

3. Bring your Information

Make sure to bring the below items and information to every appointment:

  • Inusrance Card & Photo ID — If you have insurance, bring your most updated insurance card and make sure we are listed as your primary provider; additionally bring a photo identifiaction card such as a driver's license. Also if you are at a new address or have a new phone number, don’t forget to notify the front desk so we can keep your information up-to-date.
  • Medications — Bring your medication bottles to your appointment or bring a current list of your medications. This includes prescribed, over-the-counter medications, supplements, and herbs.
  • Medical history — If you are a new patient, be sure to bring a list of your medical conditions and information on where you have received past treatment. This will help us gather information from both you and your past providers.
  • Pharmacy — Update your provider on the pharmacy you use, including the pharmacy’s name, address, and phone number to make sure you get your medications promptly.

 

4. Take notes

Remembering the details of what you talked about with your provider a few days later is difficult.   Here are some things to keep in mind during your appointment to keep you on track:

  • New medical conditions — If you are diagnosed with a new medical condition you may want to write it down, ask for further information, or ask where to find resources to help you learn more about it.
  • Medications — Ask your provider for an up-to-date list of prescribed medications so you have a copy for your records.
  • Follow-up instructions— If you need to get labs or tests at another location, make sure you get the information at the front desk before you leave. Ask if you need to make any special preparations such as not eating or not taking your medication the morning of the test.
  • Resources— Ask the healthcare staff about any resources that may be of help to you. In our health centers there’s often information hanging up or placed around the facility. Take a look to see what may be there to help you.

 

5. Bring a support person

You’re always welcome to bring an individual to your appointments who you want to participate in your healthcare.