Manage Your Healthcare Team
An important part of getting the best care is making sure everyone on your healthcare team is on the same page. Managing your team can help.
I don’t know how to make sure all the doctors I see keep up with what the others are doing. I plan to ask my rheumatologist to help me get it all organized.
Your health can be complicated
Living with lupus, you probably know that there’s more to it than simply taking your medications. Yes, taking your medicine is important. And so is making sure your prescriptions are filled and any appointments and tests you need are scheduled.
Plus, it’s important to make sure your healthcare team is working smoothly together. That can help you get the best possible care.
Your team is bigger than you might think
Your medical team is made up of everyone who helps you care for your health. That can include your rheumatologist, dermatologist, nephrologist, other specialists, your general practitioner (GP) or family doctor, your ob-gyn, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, psychiatrists, and, last but not least, you!
That’s right, you’re on your healthcare team. Since only you truly know how you’re feeling, you’re the best person to keep your healthcare team informed. You can give your team the most accurate and up-to-date description of how you’re feeling to help keep them on track.
Managing your team
Below are a few important steps to help you start (or continue) being a more active part of your healthcare team.
Elect a team captain.
- It’s usually the doctor who knows the most about your lupus—your primary specialist (such as your rheumatologist) or your primary care physician.
Keep everyone in the loop.
- Make sure everyone on your team is informed of treatment decisions. That means taking the notes from one appointment and sharing them with the next doctor you’ll be seeing.
Make an A-Team list.
- A list on your phone or in your wallet will help you keep track of who your team members are and what roles they play.
- Create automated reminders for prescriptions and appointments. Use a note-taking mobile app or place sticky notes in an obvious place, like on the mirror or your computer.
- If you don’t remember what your next steps are (brain fog can happen) or you haven’t received a “prescription filled” notification in a while, make a call! You’re the one who is ultimately responsible for making sure you have what you need.