At doctor office. Doctor holding mri xray and talking to patient

Communicating Key Health Information Effectively

Most of us have been in situations where we are asked a variety of questions related to our health.

Just about every visit to a new healthcare provider involves a process of gathering information about your past and current healthcare issues. Once the relationship is established with a primary provider, you will be asked to make certain this information is up to date on a regular basis.  All of this is necessary for optimal care.  In an emergency situation, the relaying of key health information is vital and can even mean the difference between life and death.  There are important things to keep in mind in your attempts to make certain information is offered in a clear and timely manner.

 

Three things.

Have your list of current medications, allergies and current medical conditions readily available at all times in case of an emergency.  These three pieces of information are vital for health care professionals to know and will save precious time in a crisis if you are unable to communicate.  You can keep a list of this important information in your purse or wallet and you can securely store them in the älska platform along with your complete health history and copy of your health records at www.alskacare.com.  You can also indicate emergency contact information and give permissions to those you want to be able to access this information.

 

Stay focused.

When face to face with a health care professional to whom you are attempting to relay your medical history or current medical issues, try to stay focused on the issue at hand.  It is easy to get off track especially if you have multiple issues you need to have addressed. Let the health provider ask the questions initially because they need to do their fact finding to better understand how to proceed with helping you.  Answer their questions as concisely as possible and if you don’t understand a question, tell them you need clarification.  After they have asked all of their questions, offer additional information you believe is pertinent to your current concerns.  Refrain from lengthy explanations or details that have little to do with your current symptoms.

 

Preparation is key.

Prepare in advance for an unforeseen crisis.  Pull together a complete family medical history prior to experiencing an illness or crisis.  You can refer to the “Healthy Dose” archives to read the newsletter on creating a family health history to get more guidance around where to start with gathering this important information. Have a living will or advanced directives in place in the event you experience a critical health crisis so everyone knows what your wishes are. Once you have compiled this information have it available and tell at least one individual that you trust, where to find it. You can store all of this information in the älska platformwhere it will be secure and easily available to you whenever and wherever you need it.