How to prepare for your upcoming appointment with Dr. Knutson?
Preparing for a doctors appointment may seem confusing for many individuals trying to navigate the complex healthcare delivery system. It has become increasingly important for patients to play an active role in managing their healthcare needs by ensuring they receive the best possible care. Knowing what questions to ask before, during and after appointments is vital to better understand, and therefore manage, an illness. Here are some tips that may help you and your family step in the drivers seat preparing for your next appointment:
What do I need to do before my upcoming appointment with Dr. Knutson?
- Bring Every Bit of Info You Can: Bring a current list of allergies, medical conditions, past surgeries, and current medical providers treating you. Don't forget a list of your current medications (prescription, over-the-encounter, and herbal) including dosing and instruction information. If you are seeing a physician for consultation, remember to bring your recent medical records, imaging studies, recent laboratory results or any other information that you feel may help guide the consulting physician make a better decision and avoid redundant tests.
- Bring a List of Questions: Think and write down questions to bring to your appointment to ask your doctor. Bringing a list of questions will ensure that you don't forget to ask something important.
- Insurance verification: Confirm with your insurance carrier the provider you are scheduled to see is contracted with the insurance company. Pre-determine what out of pocket expenses you will be required to pay, along with determining if a referral is required to see the provider.
What should I expect at my appointment with Dr. Knutson? What tips would help through my appointment?
- Be Clear About Your History: Give a clear history of your problem to the physician – obtaining a history from a patient is one of the most important parts of an appointment with a patient.
- Back to School: Take notes with a pen and paper. Use your smartphone to your full capacity by using it to record your physician, or take notes or photos. Studies show two-thirds of the information doctors give to patients is forgotten immediately after their appointment.
- Be Curious: Ask questions! The more you and your family understand your diagnosis and treatment the better outcomes you will have.
- Ask for a Second Opinion: It is perfectly reasonable to ask for a second opinion regarding your diagnosis or treatment. Ask your physician to recommend other physicians to see; he or she should not feel threatened or offended by this inquiry. Research! Ask your doctor where you can do further research on the condition to get a better understanding how to best manage the condition. If you have a smartphone ask your doctor if there are applications he or she recommends that can help you better take care of your problem.
- Follow Up: Ask for contact information for your doctor so you can ask questions in the future if you need such as email address, voicemail, or the nurse line.
What do I do after my appointment with Dr. Knutson?
While your appointment with your doctor has finished up, you might find yourself wondering: Did I ask the right questions? Do I take my medication with meals? What's the next step? You are not alone in feeling this way. Confronted with a nebulous understanding of their condition, many patients are confused and overwhelmed after they leave the physician office. Studies show that 40-60% of information delivered to them at the appointment is lost by the time we walk out of the office.
- Study Up: Learn more about your condition for future treatment.
- Set Goals: Understand your treatment goals and develop an action plan to reach those goals.
- Schedule Your Follow-up Appointments: Check your insurance coverage and out of pocket expenses for future tests and procedures. Since costs can vary between providers you may be able to shop for better prices in your market.
- Update Your Personal Health Record: with any new medications, procedures, medical conditions and tests for future use.
- Get Clarification: If you are confused or have forgotten some information call your doctor's office to get clarification.
These pointers should help put you in the driver's seat for your next doctor's appointment. Becoming more involved in your healthcare decisions can translate to better outcomes, fewer emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and becoming a more satisfied healthcare consumer.