• Write down your questions – Prior to your office visit, decide what information you need from your visit and jot down your key questions and concerns.
• Bring your medications – or at least a list of your current medications. Also bring any over-the-counter supplements or vitamins you take. It’s important your provider knows everything you take.
• Ask questions – and keep asking until you understand the answer.
• Take notes – or bring a support person who can take notes.
• Have it repeated – Ask your provider to summarize the appointment before leaving. Also, to ensure you understand, repeat all directions back to your provider.
For more information on healthcare quality, and a “Build Your Own Question” list, go to the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality at http://www.ahrq.gov/. Click on “Consumers & Patients” and select “Questions are the Answer.”