Author- Lisa Johnson RN, BSN, M.Ed., CCP-HC
Many people feel that when they visit their healthcare provider, they don’t have enough time with the practitioner to ask questions and clarify concerns. If that’s you, you are not alone. The majority of people seeking care in the U.S. feel that time with their healthcare provider is too limited, regardless of the reason for their visit. In fact, studies have shown that many patients feel a great deal of dissatisfaction with the care that is provided based on the length of their visits, even if their healthcare concern was taken care of (Guttman et al., 2021).
As was mentioned in a previous blog, there are three crucial aspects to remember as a patient.
*You are a member of your healthcare team
*You have a voice in your care
*You are at the center of your care
Hospital accrediting organizations, such as The Joint Commission, emphasize the importance of high-quality patient-provider communication. Research has proven that poor communication between patients and medical providers can have severe outcomes for the patient (Guttman et al., 2021). With this in mind, let’s explore ways to make the most of your medical visit.
1. Prioritize what you would like to discuss, particularly the symptoms you have been experiencing, write them down, and take the list with you to the appointment.
2. Write down three or four of your most important questions or concerns, and let the provider know you have questions at the beginning of the visit.
3. Bring a list of your medications with their dosages. (Include over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements)
4. Consider bringing a family member or friend along with you.
5. Take notes, or have a family member or friend do so.
6. Medical information can be challenging to understand. It is ok to ask your provider to explain it again.
7. If this is your first visit, arrive a few minutes early to fill out forms.
Following these simple steps can go a long way to improving communication with your healthcare provider and getting the most from your visit.
Para obtener información en español, visite este sitio:
For additional information, please visit the National Institute on Aging (NIA-NIH)
Guttman, O. T., Lazzara, E. H., Keebler, J. R., Webster, K. L. W., Gisick, L. M., & Baker, A. L. (2021). Dissecting communication barriers in healthcare: A path to enhancing communication resiliency, reliability, and patient Safety. Journal of Patient Safety, 17(8), e1465–e1471. https://doi.org/10.1097/PTS.0000000000000541
Chesapeake Health Advocates advocacy and consulting services do not constitute medical advice; these services are intended for reference and educational purposes only. These consulting and advocacy services are not an attempt to practice medicine or nursing or to provide specific medical advice, and Chesapeake Health Advocates’ services should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a health care provider, to make a diagnosis, or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. Clients should not rely upon Chesapeake Health Advocates’ services for emergency medical treatment.
Copyright Lisa Johnson; Chesapeake Health Advocates 2023.