3 Things to Bring to Your Next Doctor’s Appointment

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A physician needs to know all aspects of the patient’s care to provide the best results and care possible.

Scheduling a doctor’s appointment, but forgetting the things that you wanted to discuss when you get there, is an experience that many, if not all, patients can relate to. Preparing in advance for your next visit can help make your doctor’s appointment a much smoother experience, in terms of the feedback and advice provided by your doctor based on the information that you bring to the visit. With that in mind, let’s talk about some things to bring to your next doctor’s office visit.

What to Bring to Your Next Doctor’s Appointment

First, you will need all documentation for insurance, testing, previous history, and other doctors that have been seen. Second, bring your current medications and basic knowledge of noted reactions, logs, and how you take them. Last, remember to write out a list of discussion topics and cover each with your provider. 

1. Bring Your Documentation.

At each appointment, the receptionist at the front desk will ask if any of your information has changed since your last visit, and will sometimes request documentation pertaining to any changes since your last visit. The nurse may also request some information prior to the doctor coming into the room to begin your visit. Remember to bring these key pieces of information to your next doctor’s visit:

  • Your identification.
  • Proof of medical insurance (or advise that you will be self pay).
  • Results of any images or testing recently done at a different facility, in the event that this information has not been forwarded to your doctor’s office and added to your medical record.
  • Your updated medical history if you are a new patient.
  • Records from specialists if not readily available in your doctor’s office.  

Remember to keep your physician up to date on any aspects of your health, so that your doctor can maintain the continuity of your care, in case you need to be seen by a consulting physician or be seen at a different healthcare facility. Proper documentation will allow the physician to review your records and immediately understand, at a glance, how different aspects of your current treatment may be affecting your health. 

bunch of white oval medication tablets and white medication capsules

2. Bring Your List of Current Medications.

Most physicians will have a record of what medications have been prescribed to you by the office. However, it is important that you bring your list of medications to your next appointment for verification of proper use and correct dosage in relation to your treatment. It is also important to make a list of any reactions and concerns about your medications that you may want to discuss during your next visit. As part of your list, you will also need to include any new medications that were prescribed by other physicians as well, so that these can be reviewed and considered in relation to any other medications, for any potential adverse reactions to the mix of medications.  

3. Bring Any New Medical Problems or Medical Worries That You Have.

Most people visit the doctor because they have concerns over medications or conditions that have developed. It is helpful to keep a list of medical problems or issues that occur between visits, in addition to keeping your medication list, so that all of your medical information remains up to date between appointments. A medical problem list can help you keep your concerns organized by date, all in one place, and help your doctor pinpoint how, why, and when they occurred in relation to other events that might have occurred at the same time, such as an outdoor camping trip, or starting a new medication. Present your problem list to your doctor to discuss your ongoing needs and care, and any potential adjustments that may need to be made. Some documentation, like blood sugar logs or blood pressure readings, are especially important in terms of helping your doctor understand what is happening at home between visits. Also, when you keep a medical problem list between visits, you won’t have to remember things that might have occurred several months prior to your visit for example, but that you may have forgotten all about by the date of your scheduled appointment.

The most important thing to remember is that your doctor needs to know about all aspects of your health in order to provide the best results and the best care possible. It is better to bring more documentation than you think will be necessary to your next appointment, because there may be some information included that the doctor has not received, and may be missing from your medical record.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. Stay up to date on the latest tips and trends in healthcare. If you are interested in taking a course in healthcare, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to learn more about the types of healthcare courses that you can take in your spare time, with lessons that you can immediately apply to everyday living, as soon as you finish each course. 

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Robots in Healthcare: How Robots are Helping Patients in the Field of Healthcare

A man doing physical therapy by using an exoskeleton to walk on a treadmill

If you are interested in a career in the healthcare industry and have researched a bit about its future, you must have come across the use of robots in healthcare. These robots offer many possibilities that are beneficial to you as a healthcare worker as well as your patients. Robots can improve patient outcomes, while providing much needed help, but never replacing, healthcare professionals who constantly strive to optimize patient care. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how robots are helping to improve patient outcomes in the healthcare industry.

Robots in Action: From High Precision Surgery to Delivery of Medical Supplies

Healthcare robots are currently used primarily in surgical procedures and prosthetics. Robots are also used in other areas of healthcare, such as dispensing medication, disinfecting rooms, and delivering medical supplies, for example.

How Robots are Being Used in Healthcare

There are several different types of robots currently in use in the healthcare industry. If you are a patient, you might have encountered some of these robots in doctors offices or hospitals. The types of robots include:

  1. Surgical-assistance robots. These robots are used in high precision surgeries and minimally-invasive surgeries, such as chemical ablation and radiofrequency ablation. One example of a surgical-assistance robot can be found in the da Vinci Surgical System.
  2. Mobile robots are used in transporting patients, moving heavy loads, cleaning, and disinfection of rooms. A good example a mobile robot is the TUG autonomous mobile delivery robot, which is used to carry heavy machinery.
  3. Service robots track medical supplies, quickly set up rooms, and perform other general logistical tasks related to healthcare.
  4. Social robots are robotic care assistants. Physicians can use these robots to interact directly with patients if necessary due to time constraints. These robots can also reduce time-consuming and expensive home visits.
  5. Exoskeletons help with surgical procedures and assist in recovery. An example is the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) exoskeleton that helps victims of stroke learn to walk again, and helps patients during the process of rehabilitation.

The Robot-Healthcare Worker Symbiosis

The important thing to remember is that, while there are fears that robots in healthcare might replace human staff, robots will never replace humans, and never replace doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Robots are only designed to help, not to replace, workers in healthcare. Also, from a financial standpoint, robots are currently expensive pieces of machinery, so it would not be cost-effective to replace all human workers in a health facility with robots. They also need to be programmed by humans, set up by humans, and monitored by humans, especially in relation to the test results that they produce and how they function in the clinical setting. If and when robots fail, the practical skills, creativity, and human decision-making skills must take over, in the form of the healthcare professional. Most importantly, patients will always require the human touch, when engaging with healthcare professionals, as well as a caring and sympathetic human, with a compassionate listening ear when describing medical issues and addressing medical concerns.

Robots in Healthcare and the Demand for Human Input

The programming, maintenance, monitoring of performance, and repair of robots in healthcare settings provides additional job opportunities for medical technicians. Medical technicians must program the robots, and ensure that they are performing correctly. As a result, healthcare workers will always be in demand to provide both the medical school knowledge and the hands-on medical experience needed to accurately monitor and interpret the behavior of robots, in addition to completing the tasks that are required of human beings in the healthcare environment. This creates new job opportunities for individuals who are in the medical field, and those who are training for future positions in the medical field.

How Healthcare Robots Help You and Your Patients

The use of robots in healthcare settings can enhance your career experience if you work in the medical field, and as stated previously, improve patient outcomes. The need for food and sleep does not hinder machines, unlike humans, and fatigue is not a factor when perform monotonous tasks for long periods of time.

In addition to these benefits, healthcare robots can perform tasks that may be potentially dangerous for human healthcare workers, such as testing solutions that might be harmful, and reducing exposure to highly contagious pathogens when used in a laboratory setting. This frees up time for healthcare workers to perform other tasks that need human interaction, such as spending more time caring for patients, and taking additional time to answer patient questions, time that may not be available without the extra assistance of the robot. This may be especially beneficial for elderly patients, or patients with hearing or speech impediments, that may require extra time to speak about medical issues during an office visit, fore example.

Patient Attitudes Toward Healthcare Robots

Unlike robots in manufacturing, healthcare robots are relatively new, and learning about how patients feel about robots being using in healthcare is also still relatively new. Some research suggests that most patients have a positive attitude towards robots, though it takes time to warm up to them.

With this in mind, what are your thoughts about robots being used in healthcare?

If you are a patient, how do you feel about a robot providing assistance to you at your next doctor’s office or hospital visit?

If you are a healthcare professional, do you think having a robot could help you in your work? Why or why not?

Leave a reply to these questions in the field below.