BGHP staff and volunteers understand from personal experience how frightening this time can be. In an effort to lessen stress and improve communication during a client-physician visit, BGHP offers Consultation Planning. This process provides an opportunity for the client to organize and prioritize their questions in a calm, quiet environment before meeting with a physician. Consultation Planning takes about 1.5 to 2 hours and will help you to clarify your thoughts and questions for the physician. Once approved by you, a copy of your questions can be sent to the physician for review before your appointment. This will allow the physician to prepare in advance and make the most of the appointment time. Learning you have a suspicious finding on your mammogram has to be one of the most devastating experiences in a person's life. Preparing to meet with a surgeon or an oncologist can be overwhelming.
- What questions should I ask?
- What are my options?
- Will this health care provider know what I want?
- Will they respect who I am?
Using a systematic approach, the consultation planner assists the client in clarifying what information they need to obtain from the physician to feel satisfied. The planner does not answer medical questions or give advice about health or treatment options during the interview but may encourage the client to list their questions on the plan for the health care provider. If information is requested, a referral to the information specialist or patient navigator may be made. After the interview, a typed flow chart is created, which includes not only the client's unique questions but information about their personal background and communication style as it pertains to their current health situation. The finished plan reflects the concerns and questions the client had at that particular point in time. When approved by the client it is then mailed or faxed to the physician for review prior to the scheduled appointment. Having the plan in advance of the appointment allows the physician an opportunity to prepare and to get a feel about the client they are soon to meet. The client keeps a copy of the plan and may use it to take notes during the visit. Of the planning sessions conducted at BGHP to date, all of the clients have responded favorably, i.e. that the service was helpful to them and that they would recommend it to a friend. Many have stated the service lessened their anxiety about meeting with the physician and helped to make the appointment go more smoothly. Consultation planning takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours from interview to completion of the plan. It can be conducted in person or over the phone and it is free. Call (707) 825-8345 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Questions and Comments
For questions and comments about our consultation planning, please call us at (707) 825-8345.