Every Patient's "To Do" List:
How to Make the Most Out of Every Doctor's Appointment
Before your appointment:
_______ When you call to schedule your appointment, it is important to tell the receptionist the reason for your visit (i.e. post-hospital visit, weight management, illness, school/work physical, annual physical, fever, injury/accident, chest pain, follow-up, etc). Based on the reason(s) for your appointment, the front staff decides how much time to allot for the appointment to keep the schedule moving and allow other patients to be seen in a timely manner.
_______ If you have are experiencing a medical urgency and need to be seen promptly, it is very important that you call first thing in the morning and tell the receptionist right away! Although Arroyo Vista Family Medicine is not a walk-in clinic, Dr. Landero does have a few reserved appointments for same-day/sick visits throughout the day, but they go quickly so please call as soon as possible and we will try our very best to get you in quickly.
PLEASE NOTE: same-day/sick visits still require you call in for an appointment which are scheduled on a first-call, first serve basis. For these it is very important to call the office as early as possible. If you call before business hours, please leave a detailed message so we can call you back when we open to set you up for an appointment as soon as possible
_______ Record the date and time of your appointment on your calendar. If a time conflict arises and you cannot keep your appointment, call 24 hours in advance. If you arrive late, you will likely be asked to reschedule your appointment. This allows the doctor to see other scheduled patients in a timely manner.
PLEASE NOTE: patients who do not confirm their appointments at least 4 hours prior to their schedule time will have their appointment canceled to allow patients on our waiting list to be seen.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: patients who confirm their appointments but then fail to show for their scheduled time, will be assessed a no show/missed appointment fee that is not covered by insurance. We do not “double-book” so your scheduled time is reserved for you and only you. When a patient fails to show for his/her appointment without adequate notice, he/she is preventing other patients from taking that being seen during that time slot.
_______ Prepare ALL of your medications to take with you to your appointment (and put them in a place you will not forget them), including over-the-counter meds, vitamins, and herbal remedies. Tell us about any allergies or past drug reactions. It is important that we know exactly what medications you are taking, when you are taking them, how often, and what dosage so we do not prescribe anything that could have a negative or life-threatening interaction with any of your other medications.
PLEASE NOTE REGARDING MEDICATION REFILLS: if you are running out of medication, you must notify the office ONE WEEK PRIOR to your LAST DOSE to ensure you do not miss doses. The turnaround time for medication refills is 72 business hours (3 business days). For some refills, a follow-up visit may be required to track progress on the medication. Please DO NOT wait until the last minute to request refills!
_______ If you have several medical problems, it is very important to come to your appointment prepared with the following:
Onset (When did it start?) The more specific, the better as time periods such as “a long time ago” or “I don’t remember” are not always helpful in trying to ascertain an accurate diagnoses.
Frequency/particular times of day the symptoms bother you the most
Medications you have tried to address the symptoms
PLEASE NOTE: It is very important to mention ALL of your medical problems in case they are related (do not wait until your exam is finished to bring up other significant problem(s)). HOWEVER, be advised that it is unlikely all items will be addressed in a single appointment. Often, it is important to prioritize medical problems from most pressing to least pressing so the doctor can know which course of action to take initially. Another appointment will be schedule to address your other concerns in order of priority as defined by both you and the doctor.
_______ Be knowledgeable about your medical history. Take the time to write out your family medical history. Bring this history to your medical appointments. Keep a copy of your current prescription medications (including name/dosage) plus all known drug allergies with you at all times (purse/wallet).
_______ Be knowledgeable about your insurance benefits and what is covered under your policy. Explain to our staff any concerns you have about the coverage of certain tests prior to the completion of the test. Know if your insurance requires prior approval/authorization before tests.
P.S. We will take your photo for your medical record. Taking your photo for your medical record is a safety protocol that helps prevent patient misidentification. We disclose this matter since many of our patients have told us they wish they had known prior to coming.
During your appointment check-in:
_______ NEW patients are required to arrive 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork*. We must enter your patient information and verify your insurance before your medical provider can examine you.
*For patients preferring to access our fillable forms online, please fill them out, print them and arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment to enter your patient information and verify your insurance prior to being seen.
PLEASE NOTE: new patients who do not show for their confirmed appointments will not be allowed to reschedule another appointment for a period of 6 months
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: new patients who do not bring the following items to their appointments will not be seen due to insurance regulations as a result of high incidents of fraud – 1) PHOTO IDENTIFICATION, 2) INSURANCE CARD
_______ When you check in at the front desk, please let us know if there is any change in your address, phone number, insurance company, etc. Reporting these changes NOW will help to prevent insurance billing problems later for you. Whenever your insurance changes in the future, always immediately make copy of both sides of your insurance card and fax/mail/bring this information to our office.
During your appointment:
_______ Once you are in the exam room with our medical assistant, he/she will ask you the reason for your visit and if you had any lab work drawn before you came in. Repeat your reason(s) to him/her. This is done for safety reasons to prevent patient misidentification and part of our protocol.
_______ If you need any medication refills, ask for them TODAY. It will save everyone, including yourself, time later on.
_______ If you have any questions about your medical care, ask TODAY during your appointment. Always ask for clarification if there is anything you do not fully understand including things like: changes to medications, new medications, your results, your diagnosis, your treatment, etc.
_______ Ask for a school/work excuse if you need one. It will save everyone, including yourself, time later on.
_______ Leave with an appointment card for your next scheduled appointment.