How to Be a Good Patient: The Top 10 Ways
Becoming knowledgeable about your own health is the best way to become a good patient. Establishing a good relationship with your primary care provider (PCP) when you are in good health ensures that you will receive the best care should you ever become sick or injured. Your PCP is also your best resource for understanding all your health concerns.
Still, there are very practical steps you can take to be a good patient. Here are our Top 10 recommendations:
- Schedule an annual preventative physical exam. An annual exam is one the best ways to take charge of your own health and keeps the lines of communication open with your PCP.
- Scheduling an appointment. When making an appointment, let the staff know your concerns ahead of time so they can schedule an appropriate amount of time.
- Prescription refills. Let the office staff know immediately when you check in if you have a prescription to refill. Or use the Weeks patent portal or Healow app to do this ahead of your office visit.
- Write down your concerns to discuss with your PCP. This will help you remember everything you wish to discuss. Bring two copies of your concerns or questions—one for you, one for the doctor. Bring a pen to write down your PCP’s advice.
- Bring your information. Always bring any test results you’ve been monitoring, information from other doctors or hospitals, and your insurance information to every appointment.
- Bring someone with you. Sometimes having a second set of eyes and ears makes it easier to remember everything your PCP recommends.
- Be honest with your PCP. The more accurate information you share the better treatment you will receive. Your PCP is there to help you and have an honest and open discussion about your health.
- Keep good records of your health. Write down information about your general health status, such as reactions to any medications, persistent physical problems, or issues with recommended at-home treatment. A written record makes it easier for you to remember and explain your concerns to your PCP.
- Follow your PCP’s advice. Take medications for the full course of the prescription, even if you start feeling better. Consult your PCP before you stop taking any medication. Follow any recommended lifestyle changes and attend prescribed therapies or procedures.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices. Get plenty of exercise, eat a balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and get plenty of sleep. Taking care of yourself is the best way to prevent disease and stay healthy.
Weeks Medical is committed to providing the highest quality personal care and support for you and your family in order to achieve your personal health goals. All of our locations are accepting new patients and accept most insurance plans. We also offer options if you are without insurance. Scheduling an appointment is easy.
To schedule an appointment with a primary care provider, call 603-788-5095.
by Mary Beth Kenison, ARNP
Mary Beth Kenison is a primary care provider based in the Groveton Physicians Office.