What is essential to being an empowered patient? We explored this idea about a week ago on #patientchat, and here are a few things that people talked about:
- A notepad, pencil or iPad to take notes
- Health records, list of medications or other tracking systems
- A credit card
- An insurance card
- A list of questions to keep their doctors on track
- Words with Friends or other entertainment for the waiting room
- An extra pair of ears
- Inspirational notecards to keep our spirits up!
What else would you bring? Full chat transcript available below the page break
Join us this week, Friday December 20th, 1pm EST / 10am PST for a special holiday-themed #patientchat on self-care!
Question 1: If you could go to a desert island for your doctor’s appointment (bear with us), what is one thing would you have with you?
- @abrewi3010: probably my iPad so I could take notes, have questions ready, schedule follow ups, ask dr google for help. #patientchat
- @westr: My health records/EHR #patientchat @Intakeme
- @coffeemommy: T1 – Yeesh only one. Health history is solid in my head these days so – a pencil (I can always find something to write on) #patientchat
- @carlyRM: #patientchat what do I take to *every* medical appointment? Credit card. @Intakeme
- @AraSevera13: #patientchat My husband. Someone credible that can “testify” to my issues and will be taken more seriously since he is a male.
Question 2: What else is essential?
- @coffeemommy: @Intakeme A friend, spouse, extra pair of ears. #patientchat
- @westr: Programmed patient advocacy! RT @Intakeme: T2 So far on our toolbelt we have ipad & health records. What else is essential? #patientchat
- @abrewi3010: #patientchat a2 depending on the doc all meds or at least a list with refill amounts remaining.
- @AraSevera13: #patientchat AND.ins card, list of all meds (daily and PRN), med allergies, prior diagnoses, list of prior surgeries….
- @coffeemommy: Bring list of your specific questions (they sometimes get lost in the ongoing drama of an appointment) #patientchat
- @Intakeme: I bring a print out of prescriptions and supplements to each one but so far doctor rarely uses it. #patientchat
- @carlyRM: #patientchat I bring a notebook and pen (or iPhone) to take notes at my appointment @Intakeme
- @KellyRawlings: Also, appt reminder phone calls & postcards should ask ppl to bring their data to the appt! Offer incentives even #patientchat
Question 3: Do you go in the room alone or is a companion with you at all times? Are they essential? If so, how?
- @coffeemommy: Depends on type of appt. I check-up solo. MT @Intakeme: T3 Do you go in the room alone or is a companion with you? #patientchat #patientchat
- @abrewi3010: #patientchat A3 I always go alone. My health starts with me then goes out as needed
Question 4: Do you consider your phone / digital device a must have for your tool belt? Or do you record notes on paper?
- @coffeemommy: @Intakeme I record notes from oncology appointments on paper. They go in a binder. Too cumbersome to take notes on phone. #patientchat
- @westr: T4 I use a 100 page Word doc that serves as my personal #EHR until HC industry can provide me with computer version @Intakeme #patientchat
- @abrewi3010: A5 my phone is a must have. Great for keeping mind on appointment and not on scheduling/payment info. #patientchat
- @westr: Withings BP on mine; easy for doc to read tracked history: RT @abrewi3010: #patientchat A5 phone great tool #patientchat
- @karenasolis: #patientchat I use my iPad to try to find more Apps to track my sympthoms. My doctors never use the data but for me is really useful.
Question 5: What about entertainment? We all know waiting is part of any appointment.
- @westr: Bring extensive reading, & now iPhone
- @coffeemommy: “Trash mags” in the waiting room!
- @abrewi3010: waiting at doc office is great time to catch up Word with Friends games #patientchat
Question 6: What about inspirational tools? Any place for those?
- @coffeemommy: Use whatever makes you feel most comfortable & empowered
- @westr: ‘Preparedness’ is my most inspirational tool.
- @Intakeme: maybe a thought, mantra, or inspiring quote? When I went thru chemo, I had a stack of index cards I’d take. #patientchat
- @coffeemommy: “Inspirational tool” inside my cancer book. Preparedness + love. #patientchat http://t.co/Lk1vOAbAPb
- @KellyRawlings: Why is my A1C result on an ugly sheet of paper? I take it home & add stickers to celebrate my hard work! #patientchat
- @anetto: @coffeemommy I feel inspired by success stories of others, compassion from carers who care day after day. #patientchat”
Last question: If you were magic, what tool would you invent to go with you to your appointment?
- @westr: User-friendly HER
- @abrewi3010: the never empty debit/Checking account!!!
Thanks all for participating and see you this Friday for the next #patientchat!
Photo Credit: Flickr
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