Exchange of Information
Many medical conditions can be related to another condition, or result from the treatment of another condition. Effective coordination of care depends upon clear and timely communication among providers and facilities caring for an individual. This communication allows better decision-making regarding treatments, and decreases the potential for unwanted medication interactions.
When your primary provider refers you to a specialist, information is often shared as allowed by privacy laws. However, if you choose to seek services outside of your primary provider’s organization or from community organizations, your primary provider may not be aware of all services, tests or treatments you have received.
Whenever you receive a service outside of your primary provider’s office, ask whether that information is being sent to your doctor, or ask for a copy that you can send. When you see your primary provider, discuss all visits and treatments you have had with other providers since your last office visit.
It is important to keep your primary provider informed so they can see the complete picture of your healthcare, and be alert for possible interactions. It also helps avoid unnecessarily repeating tests, leads to improved outcomes and increases patient safety. Think of your primary doctor or health care provider as your copilot, helping you navigate the way to a healthier you.