Maximizing the time with your doctor
by Felicia Juntunen, Certified Care Manager
According to a 2016 survey, the average time doctors spend with patients during an office visit is between 13 and 16 minutes. Good communication with your physician can help make the most of that time. Start with the investment of a little time prior to a medical appointment to prioritize a list of concerns, changes in health, new symptoms, or questions about your health. Along with this list, it’s important to take along all prescription and over the counter medications. These strategies can help maximize the time you have with your physician.
When vision, hearing, and/or cognitive changes occur, they impact a person’s ability to prepare for a doctor appointment, exchange information with a physician, and follow through with physician orders. In our care management practice, we regularly accompany clients to medical appointments where we apply a holistic, client-centered approach to maximizing the independence and autonomy of our clients while communicating with medical personnel. We provide advocacy by gathering information prior to an appointment, including talking with family members and caregivers about their concerns regarding the client’s health and making sure clients bring their medications. During appointments, we make certain that priorities are addressed and record needed information. After an appointment, we ensure that medication and lab orders are completed and when appropriate we provide reports to family members and other people responsible for a client’s care. As Aging Life Care Professionals™ our goal is to optimize health and quality of life by making every minute in the doctor’s office count.