Do you find that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider, only to forget half your questions once you’re in the exam room? Does your healthcare provider ask you questions during a visit that you can’t answer? Preparing for a healthcare provider visit can help you get the most out of it.
“We at Zing Health view annual wellness visits as an opportunity for our members to engage with their Primary Care Physician (PCP), to assess current health, and identify health goals for the coming year,” says Shari Mason, Zing Health Director of Quality Management. “We believe that the annual wellness visit is part of an ongoing relationship between our members and their PCP. The outcomes can help the PCP create a personalized health plan to address any current concerns and identify ways of preventing problems in the future.”
At a minimum, you should prepare for a visit by writing down a list of questions you have and things you want to remember to tell your provider. Be prepared to mention how you have been feeling since your last visit, and speak up about any changes you’ve noticed, new symptoms you have, or anything else the healthcare provider should know.
If your PCP is new to you or if there have been changes since your last visit, you should also bring a list of the medicines you take and information about your family history. If you are also seeing other healthcare providers, bring copies of relevant records and test results, plus contact information for these providers.
How to Gather Your Medical History
It is a good idea to have your medical history all in one place so your provider and caregivers can have easy access to it. If all your providers are with the same system and you are comfortable using their patient portal, you can make sure this information is up to date in their electronic medical records system. You can also keep this information in a file folder, being sure to include:
- All the medicines and supplements you take. Include the dose and number of times a day you take it.
- The names of other healthcare and behavioral health providers you see for treatment.
- A list of your medical conditions, past hospitalizations, surgeries, and allergies.
How to Gather Your Family History
On a piece of paper, write your name and the names of your brothers and sisters. Below that, write the names of your parents, aunts, and uncles. Below that, write the names of your grandparents. Next to each name, write the person’s date of birth and list any health problems you know about. If the person has died, note the date and cause of death.
How a Family Member or Friend Can Help
Finally, if COVID precautions allow it, you may want to bring a trusted family member or friend to the visit. They can:
- Drive you to and from your visit
- Make you feel comfortable and more confident
- Remind you what you planned to tell or ask
- Take notes
- Help you remember what the healthcare provider says
How to Choose a New Primary Care Provider
Zing Health members can choose their own PCPs from our growing network. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with your PCP and be honest with them about things that you may find difficult to talk about. If you would like to switch providers, look at our online provider directory, then call Customer Service at 1-866-946-4458 (TTY 711) to request a change. The rep will tell you when the change takes effect.