Think About What Your Provider Needs to Know to Treat You
When your provider knows your medical history, it helps him or her create a treatment plan that’s right for you. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your visit. These reminders also help you when you take your child or parent to the provider.
Before you see your provider
- Write down your questions and bring them with you.
- Ask a friend or family member to go with you to help take notes and remember what the provider says.
- Make a list of your symptoms.
- Make a list of ALL your medications - prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs that don’t need prescriptions, vitamins, herbal remedies or supplements.
- List any other providers you are seeing.
- Write down the provider’s name and phone number.
- Write down if you’ve seen a specialist. When did you go? What was the reason?
- Write down if you’ve gone to the emergency room. When did you go? What was the reason?
While you’re at the provider's office
Tell the provider about your most important problems first. Be honest. Share your medical history. Tell the provider how you feel, and if your symptoms have changed or gotten worse.
Answer all of your provider’s questions
It’s normal to sometimes feel embarrassed. But you and your provider are a team. The more you share, the more the provider can help you.
Write down what the provider says or have the person who’s with you take notes.
Ask Me 3®
We want you to have the best healthcare experience possible. But sometimes a visit to your health care provider may not go as well as you’d like. Maybe you forgot to ask an important question. Maybe you didn’t know the answer to all the questions your provider asked, such as the names of the medicines you’re taking. Maybe you found it hard to remember everything your provider told you to do.
This happens to many people. Don’t worry. There’s something you can do to take control. Ask Me 3® is a program started by the Partnership for Clear Health Communication.
The program gives you three questions to ask your provider during a health care visit. They are:
- What is my main problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why is it important for me to do this?
These three questions help prepare you for the visit and help you understand what your provider tells you.
Before you leave your provider’s office
- Ask your provider or nurse to repeat anything you don’t understand.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment, if necessary.
Your next step is to follow your provider’s instructions.