Managing the “Care Between the Care”

The Prepared Patient:
Before, During and After the Doctor’s Visit

Before the Visit

  1. Call the doctor’s office to confirm location, preparation needed, and items to bring with you (e.g. referral, insurance card). Follow-up with the insurance company to confirm coverage, costs and/or obtain approvals.
  2. Be prepared to share your medical history and test results.
  3. Keep a record of health complaints, symptoms, allergies, and medications to share with your doctor/nurse.
  4. Write down your questions/concerns in order of priority and discuss the most important items first. Make a copy for your doctor/nurse. Bring someone, whether it’s a care/support partner or friend to help you take notes. Refer to Questions to Ask My Health Care Team for FAQs.

During the Visit

  1. Make sure you understand your options so that you can make informed decisions. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand any terms or instructions.
  2. Don’t leave your appointment until you are clear on next steps. It’s a good idea to repeat next steps to your doctor/nurse to avoid any miscommunication.

After the Visit

  1. Did you make a follow-up appointment and/or schedule recommended tests?
  2. Did you fill your prescription(s)?
  3. Did you contact family/ friends who need to know what happened?