When you partner with your healthcare provider, you can take a more active role in your personal health and wellness. Use these tips to get the most out of your next doctor’s visit.
Prepare for Your Provider Visit
Your first visit to a new provider is important. Bring your vaccine records and the name and fax number of your previous physician, said Candace Ireton, MD, Family Medicine physician with Mission Family and Internal Medicine.
“Also bring all of your prescription medications and a printed formulary from your insurance company that shows covered medications,” said Dr. Ireton. “This makes it easier for us to capture everything you’re taking, including the correct dosage and when the prescription needs to be refilled.”
Prepare for the appointment with a list of questions to ask the doctor, including the most important problems you want to discuss.
Enroll in the Online Patient Portal
When you check in for your visit, you will learn how to enroll in Patient Connect, Mission Health’s online patient portal. This is a secure way to communicate with your provider through email, check test results, request appointments and view visit summaries.
“You must have an email address to sign up for Patient Connect, so the portal can send you an invitation,” said Dr. Ireton. “Click on that link to enroll, and you will be prompted to set up a username and password.”
Dr. Ireton said her favorite part of the patient portal is the ability to send patients email messages, which is secure and HIPAA-compliant. “If we discuss something in a visit, and I need to do research on a specific topic or medication, I can send an email for the patient to review at their leisure,” said Dr. Ireton.
Patient Connect also can be used to set healthy goals. “For example, I may have a patient who wants to quit smoking,” said Dr. Ireton. “I can set up a message to be sent to the patient.”
It’s important that patients only use the portal to correspond with their doctor on nonurgent health issues; it should not be used for emergencies or urgent health needs. Always call 911 immediately for any medical emergencies.
Follow-up after Your Visit
After your provider visit, schedule appointments for any lab work or to see any specialists as soon as possible. Ask when and how you’ll get the results of any tests or procedures your provider has ordered. Call and ask for the results and ask questions so you understand what the results mean for your health.
See your visit summary to know when to make your return visit. If you forget about your next appointment or you’re not sure, you can send a message to your provider through Patient Connect.
Partnering and communicating with your provider will help you take a more active role in your personal wellness. It puts you on the right path toward maintaining and improving your health.
Candace Ireton, MD, is a Family Medicine physician with Mission Family and Internal Medicine.
Learn more about Mission Health’s Patient Portal and how to sign up by watching the below video.