Men's Health Month: Schedule Appointments, Prepare for them

Posted by Courtney Larned

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Jun 9, 2014 11:55:07 AM

Regular physical check-ups are of course important for men and women of all ages, but in recognition of June being Men's Health Month, we want to make sure the men in our lives are getting the most out of their medical visits.

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The annual physical is a comprehensive exam, and this is a sampling of what you should expect:

  • Height/weight measurements
  • Blood pressure check
  • Physical exam for various types of cancer (e.g. prostate, rectum, skin)
  • Stool sample to check for blood
  • Blood sugar check
  • Cholesterol check
  • Review of family medical history

There are other tests and services that are needed on a less-than annual basis; it may or may not be time for these. For example:

  • Colonoscopy for colorectal cancer (or pre-cancerous growths)
  • Tetanus booster for lockjaw
  • Pneumonia vaccine
  • Blood test (PSA) for prostate cancer

It's important that, during these rushed visits, that you are prepared and equipped to get the most out of your limited time with your doctor.

First, create a list of your questions for the doctor. If you're like most of us, you'll have a list of questions you want to ask your doctor, but by the time you've changed into the paper gown, waited for 35 minutes, and exhausted the supply of outdated magazines, you're likely to have forgotten them. Whether you jot them down on paper, or use the Care Manager tools, be sure to document all of the topics that you want to discuss with your doctor.

You wouldn't ask your colleagues to come to a meeting with no agenda, right? Why should your doctor's appointments be any different?

Second, share your health history with your provider. Did you know that over 80% of diagnoses can be made with information, and not expensive, unnecessary tests? Being able to share your health history with your doctor will help him better understand your health, and in turn, provide you with the best care. CareSync members are able to share any relevant information, directly from the app. Once past medical history has been entered into the account, it's able to be filtered, and shared with the people who need it.

Many CareSync users share a current updated health summary and Health Timelineā„¢ the night before their visit. It's pretty satisfying to encourage them to check the health summary your provided when they start asking you questions about medications. So far, 100% of people we've talked to about sharing this information have impressed their providers with their organization.

Third, ask questions. Encourage your loved ones to document their questions and concerns, too. With CareSync, family and caregivers can collaborate around a visit, helping to make sure that all issues are addressed.

Next, remember what the doctor tells you. Easier said than done. We know. Nearly half of people forget the doctor's instructions by the time they get to their car in the parking lot. Again, whether you're an old-fashioned pencil and paper type, or are using the free CareSync tools to manage your health, document the provider's instructions. You can attach documents, write notes, add tasks, and even voice record the doctor's care plan instructions. It's helpful to be able to go back and listen to it later.

Lastly, get the records. Your provider is required to provide you with a copy of your medical records within 30 days of your request. Having access to this information allows you to better understand the tests conducted and any diagnoses made. It also lets you discover more about your health, and sometimes, even find errors that need to be corrected. Whether you collect the information yourself, or rely on CareSync's trained Health Assistants to do the work for you, get your information, understand your information, and use your information.

So, what are you waiting for? Book that annual check up today! Or, if you have CareSync Plus, let your Health Assistant schedule it for you. If you haven't already gotten a free CareSync account, sign up today. If you don't have your medical records, the Health History premium services will be right up your alley. Your Health Assistant will get all of your medical records from all of your providers, and create your Health Timeline that you can filter and easily share with the people who need access to your medical history.

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