- A Guide to Communicating Better with Your Providers
- A Guide to Your Protected Health Information
- Personal Wants
A Guide to Your Protected Health Information
We’re telling you all this to improve the way you communicate with your caregivers. We want you to realize that this is the way your physicians are thinking about you. Divide your health care information and your answers to the preceding questions into the areas of past medical history, medications/allergies, family history, and social history.
Past Medical History
Cardiovascular history—List history of all heart and blood vessel conditions, including hypertension.
Oncology history—List all cancer diagnoses and treatments.
Neurologic history—List all brain, spine, and other nervous system conditions.
Endocrine history—List diabetes, thyroid conditions, and related conditions.
Obstetric and gynecologic history (if female)—List all pregnancies and deliveries, gynecologic testing history (mammograms and pap smears, for example), and treatments.
Ophalmologic history—List all eye conditions and treatments.
ENT history—List all ear, nose, and throat conditions and treatments.
Pulmonary history—List all lung conditions and treatments.
GI history—List all esophageal, stomach, liver, and small and large intestine conditions and treatments.
Hematology history—List all bone marrow, blood, and spleen conditions and treatments.
Dermatology history—List all skin conditions and treatments.
Orthopedic and rheumatologic history—List all bone and joint conditions and treatments.
Renal and urologic history—List all kidney, bladder, and, if male, testicular and prostate, conditions and treatments.
Psychiatric history—List all psychological conditions and treatments.
Infectious disease history—List all infections with organism types and treatments.
- Prescribed and over-the-counter drugs
- Severe allergies/mild allergies/intolerances
- Family illnesses
- Deaths and causes of death of family members
- Where you work and what you do
- Smoking history
- Recreational drug use history
- Alcohol use
- Eating and sleeping habits
- Exercise habits
- Marital status
Your social history—your occupation, your habits (good and bad), and your support system—is important to your health care provider because it may be an indicator of certain diseases, your risk of certain ailments, and your general well-being.
Take notes, create lists, and write down important things. Now that you know what your health care provider is looking for, come to every appointment prepared. The fewer questions your doctor has to ask you, the more time you have for your questions.
You don’t want to miss an opportunity to get answers from your physician, so make a list of questions and bring it to each appointment. If you’re worried you’ll still forget something, bring a friend or family member with you to prompt you if needed. Take detailed notes in case you have questions later.