Too often right after a visit to our doctor’s, we think of a question that we wished we had asked. This is the reason why the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has put together a list of questions you should take a look at before your next visit.
The purpose of the questionnaire is to facilitate better communication between a patient and their doctor, and the AHRQ stresses the fact that by asking questions and getting answers will help to improve the quality of your care. They state that, “Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction.” Furthermore, by preparing questions beforehand to ask your doctor, it allows you to more efficiently use your time and not feel as rushed.
Questions from the AHRQ include: what is the test for; how many times have you done this procedure; when will I get the results; and why do I need this treatment. They also suggest that you ask if there are any alternative treatments, what are the possible complications, and which hospital is best for my needs. Other questions include asking how to spell the name of the drug and are there are any side effects. The last question, and an important one, is how will this new medication interact with the other medicines I am currently taking.
Experts explain that rather than being reluctant to be asked these questions that doctors and nurses actually welcome them. It assures them that you understand the information and are actively partnering with them in your care.
The AHRQ website further adds that it may be helpful to take a family member or trusted friend with you to an appointment to assist you in understanding and remembering all of the answers to your questions. The site also offers a list of questions to think about after your appointment.
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