Getting the Most from Your Healthcare Appointment
Health care appointments can be stressful for any patient. Research shows that patients forget 50% of the information shared during an appointment. Contributing factors include stress; too much information provided too quickly, unfamiliar medical jargon and the patient’s self-confidence level. The evidence is clear, patients who take an active role in their health care are more satisfied, pursue timely and appropriate treatment and have a better quality of life. Communicating well with health care providers is one of the most important parts of getting good care however it takes time and effort by both parties.
The “Getting the Most from your Healthcare Appointment” workshop was developed for the public by the South West Self-Management Program in 2013. This 1 - 1.5 hours, interactive workshop, focuses on what to do before, during and after an appointment and uses action planning to optimize people’s health. A variety of learning resources are used including information sharing, videos, tools and a resource manual that supports the individual with integrating the skills into their next appointment. This workshop prepares and empowers individuals to communicate more effectively with their health care provider. Ultimately, patients are the most important members of their healthcare team.
Why is this important?
- People with chronic disease spend on average 12 hours a year with a health care provider. The other 364 ½ days they manage on their own.
- Upon discharge, 1 out of 3 patients do not understand the answers to their questions and know how to manage their health condition
If you would like to look for a workshop in your area, go to Getting the Most from Your Healthcare Appointment workshop registration or call 1-866-971-5545 for more information.
We asked participants “What was the most important thing you learned today?” Here are some responses:
“Today I learned a lot about my medications.”
“The most important thing that I learned today was how taking an active role in your health affects the way doctors help to treat you.”
“Make a list of what you want to ask your healthcare provider; be open and honest; don't be afraid or embarrassed.”
We also asked participants “What is the one thing you will do differently at next appointment?”
“Clearly identify by writing down my concerns prior to my appointment to ensure I ask questions and understand what healthcare provider will discuss.”
“I will ask more questions and if I don't understand anything I will ask to repeat and use my teach back strategy.”
“I will go with a list of what I want and my family history; Be more honest and open about my concerns because culturally we are not empowered in that way.”
“Be sure you understand everything about your medication, the effect, and how to take them properly.”