Managing Your Families Health Care
By Harbor View Medical Services, PC
Health care is a team effort, and you are the most important member of the team. Your team also includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and insurance providers.
Manage Your Health Care by:
- Keeping track of important health information.
- Know your family health history.
- See a doctor regularly for checkups.
- Be prepared for medical appointments.
- Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist questions.
- Follow up after your appointment
Take Action: Keep a Record
Keep track of important health information. Keeping all your health information in one place will make it easier to manage your health care.
Take the information with you to every medical appointment. To start your own personal health record, write down:
- Your name, birth date, and blood type
- The name and phone number of a friend or relative to call if there's an emergency
- Telephone numbers and addresses of places where you get medical care, including your pharmacy
- Dates and results of checkups and screening tests
- All the shots (vaccinations) you've had – and the dates you got them
- Medicines you take, how much you take, and why you take them
- Any health conditions you have, including allergies
If you aren't sure about some of this information, check with your doctor's office.
Know Your Family Health History.
Your family's health history is an important part of your personal health record. Use this family health history tool to keep track of conditions that run in your family.
Take Action: Get Checkups
See a doctor regularly for checkups.
- Getting regular checkups with your doctor or nurse can help you stay healthy.
- If you don't have a doctor or nurse, here are quick tips:
- When you choose a primary care doctor for yourself or a loved one, make sure to choose a doctor you can trust. A primary care doctor can:
- Help you stay healthy by recommending preventive services, like screening tests and shots
- Treat many health problems
- Refer you to a specialist when you need more help with a specific health issue
When you are choosing a doctor, look for someone who:
- Treats you with respect
- Listens to your opinions and concerns
- Encourages you to ask questions
- Explains things in ways you can understand
When you and your doctor work together as a team, you'll get better health care. Try the following tips to find a doctor who's right for you.
Ask for recommendations from people you know.
- Getting a reference from someone you know and trust is a great way to find a doctor.
- Ask friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers if they have a doctor they like.
- If you are looking for a new doctor because yours is retiring or moving, ask your current doctor for a recommendation.
Check with your insurance company.
- If you have health insurance, you may need to choose from a list of doctors in their network (doctors that take you insurance plan). Some insurance plans may let you choose a doctor outside the network if you pay more of the cost.
- Call your insurance company and ask for a list of local doctors who take your insurance plan.
- Find out if your insurance company has a website you can use to search for a local doctor who sees people with your plan.
Learn more about your top choices.
Make a list of the doctors you have in mind. Call their offices to learn more about them. The answers to the following questions may help you make the best decision.
Questions about the doctor:
- Is the doctor taking new patients?
- Is the doctor part of a group practice? Who are the other doctors?
- Who will see you if your doctor isn't available?
- Which hospital does the doctor use?
- If you have a medical condition, does the doctor have experience treating it?
Think about your experience after the first visit.
Did the doctor and office staff...
- Make you feel comfortable during your appointment?
- Spend enough time with you?
- Give you a chance to ask questions?
- Answer your questions clearly?
If you answer "no" to any of these questions, you may want to keep looking.
Mather Primary Care provides comprehensive, compassionate, and continuous care to patients and their family members. Our physicians are skilled in comprehensive first contact and continuing care for patients with any undiagnosed sign, symptom, or health concern not limited by problem origin (biological, behavioral, or social), organ system, or diagnosis.
"Source: 2016 National Health Observances, National Health Information Center, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC."