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I have a doctor’s appointment in a few days. What can I do …

Q:I have a doctor’s appointment in a few days. What can I do to prepare for it? A: There are a number of things you can do to get ready for your appointment and to make your visit a more positive and productive experience. Here are some suggestions:

Make a list of your symptoms. Make a list of questions you want to ask. Bring a list of your family medical history, medications, and... Read more

I was just released from the hospital. Do I need to make an…

Q: I was just released from the hospital. Do I need to make an appointment to see my regular doctor? A: Approximately one in five Medicare beneficiaries in the United States is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge; up to 76 percent of these readmissions may be preventable. A common reason for readmissions is the absence of timely follow-up appointments with primary care providers to assist patients with... Read more

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R = Respond to what is being asked of you

We provide tools to ensure that follow-up appointments are made; that patients understand what is being asked of them; and to encourage discussion about perceived barriers to effective follow-up.

Resources

Cómo cuidarme: Guia para cuando salga del hospital
This guide from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is for providers to give patients the information they need to help them care for themselves when they leave the hospital: in Spanish.

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Doctor Appointments: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
The American Heart Association offers guidance for patients on questions to ask relating to cardiac health.

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During Your Stay
This editable workbook, provided by the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, offers suggestions for what to do during a surgical hospital stay, including questions to ask after surgery and what to watch out for.

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Finding Treatment Information
The Center for Advancing Health has compiled trusted websites and sources where patients can find more information on tests and treatments for different conditions.

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Hablando con su doctor
Es posible que sólo tenga algunos minutos para estar con el profesional de la salud. Estar preparado puede ayudarlo a obtener la información que necesita.

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Participate in Your Treatment
The Center for Advancing Health offers website sources and recommendations for medication management and handling treatment side effects.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Have Cancer
The American Cancer Society offers suggested questions to ask providers about different cancer diagnoses and treatment options.

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SMART Discharge Protocol
A simple and universal five-item discharge checklist. SMART is an acroynym for Signs, Medications, Appointments, Results and Talk with me.

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Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital
A guide for providers to give patients the information they need to help them care for themselves when they leave the hospital. (also available in Spanish: Cómo cuidarme: Guia para cuando salga del hospital)

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Talking with Your Doctor
Provided by the National Institutes of Health, this 44-page publication guides older people in choosing doctors and improving communication with them, assists patients in planning for their doctor appointments, what information to report at the visit, how to ask questions and other resources. (also available in Spanish: Hablando con su doctor)

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Understanding Medical Terms
The Center for Advancing Health offers a list of medical dictionary and terminology websites to help patients gain clarification of medical terms and treatment plans.

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Your Discharge Planning Checklist
A guide for patients and caregivers to use for preparation for discharge and follow-up care.

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