This blog covers the information that you will need to gather to best prepare for a healthcare visit.
Gather all Diagnostic Testing and Lab Work
If you have gotten an MRI or a CT scan or any other diagnostic testing, including lab work or vestibular testing, I suggest you request a copy of that report to keep in a file so that you can bring it to any other providers that you consult with. If you have an MRI or a CT scan, you may also want to get a copy of that on film for other providers to actually see the film instead of just reading the radiology report.
When you prepare for a healthcare visit, for each provider that you see who weighs in on your diagnosis, I would suggest that you request a one-page summary of their findings and recommendations. You don’t necessarily need your whole medical chart, because that can be overwhelming for other providers. You just need a summary of what they found, what they think, and what they suggest for your care.
Know Your Medications
Before you prepare for a healthcare visit, keep a list of your medications and share that with each provider that you see. The list of medication should include all prescriptions such as pills that you take, along with anything that you take like eyedrops, nasal spray, inhalers, skin cream, and injections. Include over the counter medications and supplements as well, and make a special note if something is new within the last 2 weeks.
Some of the medications you’re taking may be contributing to your symptoms. Your providers may want to look at the side effects or drug interactions so it’s important to make sure everybody knows what medications you’re on.
Some medications also interact with alcohol, so you may want to let your providers know how much you’re drinking on a regular basis. You can put that right on your medication list.
If your medications are overwhelming you when you prepare for a healthcare visit, I suggest for you to ask somebody to help you organize your medications and get them into a list that you can share with other providers.
Sometimes it’s also a challenge to keep your list of medications up to date, so you may want to ask someone in your family to help you with that.
Create a Summary of your Symptoms
When you prepare for a healthcare visit with your healthcare specialist, I suggest for you to create a summary of your symptoms. This would be best presented in a timeline format, from the first onset of the dizziness or vertigo, up to the present. This should be a short and concise way of describing your experience.
In this blog, I describe how to create a concise summary of your vertigo symptoms.
In this blog, I discuss common vertigo triggers that you may want to include in your summary.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.