Finding a family care provider is a feat on its own. You have to search “medical services near me,” determine how far you are willing to travel for appointments, check the clinic’s reviews, and schedule an appointment. Sounds pretty exhausting, right?
Sadly, for some people, it doesn’t end here. It is not uncommon for someone to show up to the new clinic where they are establishing themselves as a patient to a new primary care physician, only to find out that there was more preparation than was needed — thus resulting in a wasted appointment or the need for a follow-up appointment.
In an effort to avoid this issue when you come to visit us at Hyannis Family Medical Clinic, we saw it fit to provide you with some information as to how you should prepare for your first appointment with us. Continue reading to learn more!
Preparing For Your First Appointment
There are many reasons as to why someone might consider changing their primary care physician. Some of the most common reasons include a recent move to a city that is too far away to justify keeping your physician, your insurance provider has changed and you need a new in-network healthcare provider, or that you feel the scope of your health issues is outside the expertise of your existing primary care physician.
While you may be leaving your other primary care physician to become a patient at our Cape Cod clinic,it is still important that you maintain a good relationship with your past primary care physician in the case that you might need access to past documents, or any other past medical information.
Gather Your Past Medical Records
One of the most important things to consider when changing primary care physicians is your ability to access past medical records. Medical records can include anything from your patient history to test results and even notes of concern from your past physician.
Information technology has recently changed how healthcare documents are held and sent — making it much easier for you, as a patient, to manage and move your documents from place to place. Electronic medical records (EMR) are an incredibly valuable tool because they allow your new primary care physician to simply pull up for information as long as your past physician was a part of the same network.
The downside of electronic medical records, however, is that they cannot be digitally shared with a primary care physician that is outside of your old network. If this is the case, there is an added step for you, as a patient. If your new care provider does not share the same medical network with your past one, you must sign a Release of “Medical Records” request form — thus confirming that you approve of your medical information to be sent from clinic to clinic.
Prepare Any New Information
While it is important to have your medical information, it is also important to provide your new primary care physician with any new medical information or concerns that you might have. Consider collecting the following information to provide your new physician with on your first visit.
Current Health – Sure, you may have made sure to gather past medical records, but you also may have not been to your old physician in the last six months to a year — meaning that there may be some new concerns that have arisen since. If you have noticed any changes in your health, be sure to let your new care provider know right away.
Over The Counter Medicines – Similar to your current health status, your past medical documents will reflect a lot of necessary information, but not all of it. Among the information that is not included in past medical records is the medication that you personally buy over the counter. So make a list!
The Names & Contact Information Of Past Care Providers – If you are ever to become ill, your current care provider might have a question about a notation made on a document in your medical history, meaning that they might need to get in touch with the physician or assistant that made it clear. Providing your new physician with this information can help immensely for this reason.
Anything Else you Might Think Of!
At Hyannis Family Medical Care we look forward to all of our appointments with new patients, and if you come prepared with all or even some of the above materials, the appointment will be both enjoyable and quick so that you can spend your time doing things that you love.
If you live in the Cape Cod area and are looking for a new primary care provider, we urge you to consider scheduling an appointment with our experienced team. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions that you might have about our medical services.
We look forward to seeing you soon.