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Your health care team may have many members: lab technicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses, physician’s assistants, physicians, etc.

But you are the most important member of your health care team and you play a key role in your own treatment. Your doctor relies on you in many ways so it’s important that you take an active part.

Become informed

There are many ways you can learn about your disease and Inflammation Therapy.

Get information from your doctor:

  • Ask for all instructions to be put in writing.
  • Bring a family member or friend along to take notes and help you remember what your doctor says.
  • If it helps, ask if you can record your visits on a tape recorder so you can listen to the information again later.

    Use the resources at www.chronicillnessrecovery.org.

    Discuss any information you find with your doctor to see if it applies to you.

    Keep a journal

    Keep a written record of your symptoms and medications so you will be able to accurately report to your doctor whether you’re seeing him/her for an urgent situation or a routine visit.

    Take an active role in your treatment

    If you and your doctor decide (or have decided) on Inflammation Therapy, you will need to do your part to give the treatment a chance to work. This means following instructions your doctor or the CIR Nurses give you. Make sure you understand what you need to do.

    Ask any questions you might have. This treatment depends on you following instructions closely.

    If you want to make changes or try alternative treatments (e.g., herbs, supplements, etc) talk to your doctor or CIR Nurse first. Some could cause problems when combined with Inflammation Therapy.

    Go to your scheduled doctor's appointments. Your doctor needs to see how you are doing.

    Clinic visits

    Before you see your doctor organize your written record so you will make the most out of the limited time s/he can give you. A simple worksheet might contain the following information:

    • Medications and supplements you’re currently taking
    • Symptom improvement since last visit
    • Significant symptoms yet to resolve
    • Issues to discuss
    • Lab work you would like to request
    • Medications prescriptions you need

    You doctor will appreciate this organization and may want a copy to put in your medical record.

    If your doctor is new to Inflammation Therapy, you’ll also want to give him/her copies of a few information articles from the CIR website or online library that relate to the issues you’d like to discuss or that have been a concern.

    Talk to your doctor

    When you speak up for yourself, your doctor can do a better job of treating you.

    Talk openly with your doctor so:

    • Your doctor understands what you want from Inflammation Therapy
    • You will know how your doctor views this treatment
    • You get all the information you need from your doctor

      If you have a lot to talk about, let your doctor know ahead of time. You may need to make a separate appointment to be sure your doctor has scheduled enough time to talk to you. See also Effective Patient-Doctor Communication.

      Medical records

      Busy doctors often don’t have time to tell you all the details that are pertinent to your case but they usually dictate them in a ‘clinic note’ following your visit. Other important information is contained in lab or radiological studies reports or notes from a consultant. All this information is legally the property of the patient although it’s kept safeguarded in the medical records department.

      We recommend that patients obtain hard copies of all these records. This is your patient right and it’s part of HIPAA regulations in the U.S. If you’ve never done this before, asking for a large amount of information will entail a ‘reasonable’ fee and probably isn’t necessary. But if you begin now to ask for a copy of your latest records following each clinic or hospital visit or test there is usually no cost for these few pages.

      The procedure for obtaining medical records involves contacting the institutions ‘release of information’ department and signing a release form which is usually valid for at least one year. Thereafter, you should be able to simply call this department, give them the date and name of the record/s you’d like and ask to have them mailed to your home.

      New Ruling Means Patients Can Access Their Own Lab Results 2/4/14

      Updated December 6, 2015