January 28, 2016

Why don’t my doctors communicate well with each other about my care and what can I do about it?

Did you know that your doctor may not know the various procedures, protocols, and/or medications prescribed by your other doctors?

One unfortunate outcome of the movement towards specialization in medicine is the need for many doctors to treat one person. And, as we age, the number of specialists we see increases. One person may be seeing several doctors, but those doctors may not know what the other doctors are prescribing. Though we also continue to see our primary care doctor, they often are unable to provide the vital role of care coordination for their patients.

When a patient has several doctors, and is unable to understand and communicate among and between them, they are in need of a professional geriatric care manager! Geriatric care managers are professionals that are trained to advocate for their client and communicate their health history, current medications, and current health issues to their doctors and to their families. Geriatric care managers accompany clients to their doctor appointments and update their other doctors, caretakers, and family members regarding new protocols and/or medications prescribed.

The health care coordination that geriatric care managers provide is vital as it fosters communication between patient’s doctors and importantly, prevents a duplication of efforts, and/or prescription of medicines or procedures that are contraindicated based on what another doctor has prescribed.