Preparation before hospital visit

What to ask a doctor? and things to do before visit

We believe that establishing an accurate diagnosis is the key to exact treatments. A patient is the most important person in this process. By accurately describing the nature, location, time and duration of onset of the symptoms to the doctor, the patient actually helps in an appropriate diagnosis and subsequent treatment of the disease. 

Patients should inform the doctor about herbs, vitamins and medications taken by them on long-term basis as the use of certain non-prescription drugs and vitamins might be the cause of the symptoms of a disorder.  

We strongly recommend that a patient should consider using the questions given below as a reference for their consultation with a doctor.

We encourage you to be fully informed about your health. Below, find suggested questions to ask your doctor. 

About Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

  • What is the disease (condition)?
  • What is the cause of my disease (condition)?
  • Am I suffering from more than one disease (condition) that could be causing my problem?
  • How serious is my disease (condition) and how will it affect my personal and work life?
  • What symptoms should I watch for?
  • What tests can be done to diagnose my problem?   
  • How safe and accurate are the tests?
  • Will these tests be beneficial?    
  • When will I know the test’s results?
  • Will I need more medical tests?
  • Do I need a follow-up visit and if so, when?
  • Do I need to take precautions to avoid infecting others?
  • How is the disease or condition treated?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • How effective is my treatment option?
  • What are risks (side-effects) of my treatment option?
  • If my symptoms get worse, what can I do?
  • When should I contact you? 


If You Need Surgery

  • Why am I a candidate for the surgery?
  • What surgical procedure do you advise for me?
  • Is there more than one way to perform this surgery?
  • What will be the cost of the surgery?
  • Is surgery really beneficial in my case?
  • What if I do not have this surgery – Are there any other alternatives?
  • What are the risks associated with the surgery?
  • Can I get a second opinion?
  • What is the duration of complete recovery?
  • What are the post-operative risks involved?
  • How long will it take me to recover?
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are your qualifications?
  • How many such procedures have you performed earlier?

All the above questions may or may not relate to you, depending upon the disease (condition) you may undergo.

Soon after your doctor decides Surgery or Procedure for you, you need to be admitted to the hospital. The first step is to obtain clearance from the Help Desk. You will be asked to signify your acceptance of the estimated tariff to cover your treatment and stay in the hospital. After this step is completed, you will be given a date for admission as well as pre-operative instructions.

As you prepare for your hospital visit, here is a checklist to help you be more prepared.

  • Make sure you have any prescribed pre-admission testing done prior to the date you are being admitted to the hospital.
  • Bring your insurance card and some form of identification such as a driver’s license
  • Leave your valuables at home. Take only those things that you need to be comfortable during your stay.
  • If you do not have a will, consider completing one so your family will know what you wish is if you are not able to make decisions for yourself.
  • Know your medical history including any allergies and/or adverse reactions
  • Bring a list of your current medications, including the name, dosage and frequency including any vitamin or herbal supplements you are taking
  • Know your rights and responsibilities as a patient by reading our Guidelines on Patient and Family Responsibilities
  • Ask your physician questions about the procedure, what to expect, how long you will be in the hospital and whether you will be sent home or to another facility to recover.

Know in advance the hospital’s policies on cell phone use and visiting hours.


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