Becoming Your Own Health Advocate: Gathering Necessary Records - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
Now Reading
Becoming Your Own Health Advocate: Gathering Necessary Records

Becoming Your Own Health Advocate: Gathering Necessary Records

Providing comprehensive data for doctors can make a difference in care

Preparing to meet with a new doctor can feel overwhelming, but gathering essential information beforehand can help the doctor provide better care.

Guide is here to help anyone with a diagnosis figure out how to navigate health care. The “Becoming Your Own Health Advocate” series will break down the process. These articles will arm readers with information to help along every step of the way.

Patient-generated health data (PGHD) are created, recorded or gathered by or from caregivers, family members and patients to help address a health concern.

This data is gathered by the patient or caregiver and shared with the doctor or medical provider. Some of this data comes from wearable devices like blood glucose monitors, or from apps like diet and exercise trackers.

This data may also be gathered in a journal or spreadsheet to help the doctor see an overall picture of the patient.

PGHD may include

  • biometric data
  • health history
  • lifestyle choices
  • symptoms
  • treatment history

Until there is a one-source system where doctors can view patients’ health data in one place, it is up to the patient to provide this information. Doctors may have lab test results from clinical settings, but having up-to-date PGHD is crucial.

Tracking symptoms

With doctor’s visits averaging only 13 to 24 minutes nationally, the patient must come prepared. Keeping track of symptoms is another critical way to do so.

Logging of when symptoms begin, as well as severity and any correlation to a cause, will help with diagnosis. The type of medical modality (Conventional, Functional or Integrative) will determine the remedy for the symptoms. Not all doctors treat with drugs. A change of diet or lifestyle could be utilized first as a treatment plan.

Share prior treatments 

It is common for patients to treat initial symptoms with over-the-counter medications, home or topical remedies, and standard therapies. Sharing what has or has not worked to alleviate the symptoms can also help the doctor with diagnosis and treatment plans. 

Your Medical history 

Keeping all medical history in one location aids the doctor in diagnosis and planning a treatment protocol that best fits the patient’s needs.

See Also

Medical history includes:

  1. Allergies: environmental, food-related or toxins
  2. Medications: Medication name, dosage, start date, times taken per day
  3. Conditions: name and type of condition, start date, and current or in remission
  4. Hospitalization and surgeries: dates, doctors, and facility
  5. Health screenings: colonoscopy, cholesterol, pap smear, mammogram, prostate exam, and more
  6. Vaccines: type and dates
  7. Lab tests: creating a spreadsheet of past and present tests
  8. Family history: this includes immediate blood family members’ health conditions

Genetic testing

Although genetic testing is in its infancy as a treatment plan for mainstream patients, precision medicine research pinpoints links between disease and genetic variation. DNA data is currently being used in treatments for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic disorders and more.

Taking the time to put all patient history in one place for doctors can make a difference in successful care.

By Deborah Holmén, M.ed., NBCT.

Copyright © 2020 by Guide to Greater Tampabay | Powered by TheRipal

Scroll To Top