Patients and families should actively choose a primary provider who can best meet their needs and with whom they can develop a trusting relationship. Here are some ideas to help you choose a primary provider.
1. Check with your insurance provider to get a list of primary providers in your area.
2. Look for a provider whose style and office procedures fit your needs.
a. Call the clinic and ask questions about the clinic hours, how easily you can get an appointment and other questions you have about the clinic itself.
b. You could ask to speak with the clinic manager and ask which providers in the clinic work with people who have the same diagnosis you have.
c. Talk with family, friends and other providers you work with about providers they recommend.
3. Set up an appointment to meet with the primary provider, so you can discuss with him/her what you are looking for and learn more about how their clinic and practice works.
a. Do you feel comfortable talking with the provider? Is he/she easy to talk with and interested in your concerns? Is your language and culture understood and respected?
4. Find out how partners in the practice communicate the needs of patients with chronic conditions so that if you/your child needs care after hours or on weekends you can work with someone who will understand you/your child's unique needs?
5. Choose a primary doctor who will: provide well care; sick care; help you coordinate you/your child's chronic care needs, and see you as a partner in decisions about you/your child's care
6. Ask the doctor to help develop a care plan for your child. A care plan is a great tool that can help you and all your child's doctors, nurses, school staff and others understand your child's needs and communicate better.
7. Be an active partner in care: Write down questions, concerns and observations about yourself or your child to share with the doctor.
8. Think about your goals for yourself or your child and talk about them with the doctor so your goals can help guide the care.