As an older adult, do you find yourself with more than one Tuscaloosa or Birmingham doctor managing your care? Multiple doctors can mean multiple medications and that can be a recipe for great risk of drug errors. Doctors don’t always exchange information between themselves in a timely manner.
This means there is a significantly greater risk for dangerous drug errors including drug-to-drug interactions; under- or over-utilization of a drug; duplication of therapies; and incorrect dosages
There are some important ways to maximize your time with your doctor and leave your appointment feeling certain that you have had all of your questions answered and know what comes next in regards to your treatment:
The first thing you can do is have a family member or trusted friend accompany you to your doctor’s appointments. That person can help you keep your appointments, instructions and medications organized.
Next on the list is for you to keep your health information organized, perhaps in a binder you can bring to your doctor’s office. Copies of insurance cards, a list of current medications, all doctors’ names, phone numbers, etc.
Here are a few more ideas to consider:
- Take notes on what the doctor says or ask the person who’s accompanying you to do so.
- Ask the doctor if any of the medications that he or she prescribes will interact in a negative way with medications that you’re taking as prescribed by other doctors.
- Finally, if you’re confused about anything, make sure you ask your doctor to explain it again.
You are your #1 health care advocate and are responsible for communicating clearly about your medical history with each and every one of your physicians. Your health depends on it.