Make the Most of Your Appointment
There are some things you can do to help you make the most of your appointment with a Barrow doctor. Your doctor and his or her support staff will always need to have certain information at every visit, and having it ready will help maximize the amount of time you have to ask questions.
- Confirm the location of the office when scheduling the appointment. Many doctors have more than one office.
- Confirm that the office accepts your insurance, even if you have seen the doctor previously.
- Ask them if you need to arrive early to fill out or update paper work.
- Ask them if you need to bring x-rays or other medical imaging to your appointment. We normally ask you to bring all available pertinent medical images to your first consultation. If your doctor recently ordered medical images, he or she will often have a copy of the report, but may not have seen the actual images.
We recommend that you use a notebook, day planner, or organizer to write down information, to keep tract of appointments, phone numbers, questions, instructions, and medications, and to collect business cards in a centralized place. Some things to include:
- Your name, contact, and insurance information. Print your personal information page.
- All of your surgeries, including the name of the operation, the date, the name of the doctor and hospital. Print a page to help you keep track of your previous surgeries.
- Allergies to foods and medications and the type of reaction. Print a page for organizing a list of your allergic reactions and their causes.
- A list of all the medications, both prescription and over the counter, that you are currently taking. Include the dosage of the medication and the frequency with which you take it. Print a page to help you keep track of your medications.
- A list of medical conditions and problems that you presently have. Please list all of your medical conditions, even if they are not the reason for your visit to Barrow. Print a page to help you keep track of your medical conditions.
- Your pharmacy information: name, address, phone number and fax number. If your pharmacy is not open 24 hours, keep the name of a 24-hour pharmacy handy in the event that you need a prescription after regular business hours. Print a page for your pharmacy information.
- A copy of all of your x-ray reports, medical test results, or other medical information. If your doctor needs the information for their records, ask them to make a copy – always keep the original copy for yourself. Print a page to help you keep track of your medical imaging, tests, and other information.
- Business cards for all of your specialists and any facilities or hospitals where you receive care. Print a page for organizing your medical contact information.
- A list of questions for your doctor, with space between the questions for your to write the answers. Print a page to help you organize your questions and answers.
Diagnostic Imaging (X-Rays, MR Images, CT Images, etc.)
If you need to obtain your medical images, call the hospital or imaging facility and ask for the radiology file room. They will need to know your name, your date of birth, the date that the images were taken, and your medical record number. Ask for your images to be pulled so that you can pick them up, and ask to have a copy of the x-ray report included. You may be asked to sign a release form when you pick up your images. Most hospitals and imaging facilities now furnish images and reports on a CD or thumb drive.
While it may seem daunting to assemble all of this information, once you have it in one place, you can simply grab it and go when it is time to leave for an appointment.
Remember that the more information you can provide for your doctor during your appointment, the more information your doctor can give you.
- Take another person with you to the appointment. It is often difficult to hear, understand, and remember everything the doctor tells you, especially when you are nervous, anxious, or not feeling well.
- Take your notebook, list of questions, and x-rays (including reports).
- During your appointment, jot down answers (key words) to your questions.
- Remember to collect a business card from each specialist or medical facility.
Ask the front desk staff for your medical record number or account number, and record it in your notebook. Each medical facility maintains a specific medical record number or account number for each patient. Providing this number when you request records or medical images, inquire about a bill, or even make an appointment will help you get through the system much easier.