Since healthcare in the United States is a specialist-driven system, aging parents wind up with provider teams. Overall, this is a good thing, but it creates two persistent challenges:
1. Keeping an accurate roster of providers, what they do, and the best way to communicate with them.
2. Keeping the providers on the same page regarding health information.
The second problem may seem odd. Isn’t the healthcare system integrated so changes in a patient’s health are automatically updated with the entire medical team? The short answer is no, and it would be a mistake to assume this is happening. The reality is that families need to play an active role in knowing the provider team as well as lending a hand to integrate healthcare information. This is why we created the Healthcare Team Mind Map.
When seeing the doctor, you can hope for the best or you can plan for the best. Either way, you’re going to put in the time taking care of your health.
The article below by an emergency room physician is big on preparation. It includes a list of 10 things she recommends you should bring to every doctor’s appointment.