When a patient presents with a list, follow these five steps to begin setting a shared agenda for the visit:
1. Acknowledge the list
• "I see you have a list of questions. Let's look at it together."
• "Do you have a list of what you want to talk about today?"
2. Negotiate what to cover
• "I would like to cover as much as we can from your list, but I also want to take a few minutes to talk about your [diabetes, cholesterol, asthma, etc.]."
• “There are a couple of issues on your list that we can cover quickly. Would you like to talk about those issues first so we have enough time to discuss your [diabetes, cholesterol, asthma, etc.]?”
• “You have a lot of issues on your list, and this visit is only scheduled for 15 minutes. Let's look at it together and decide on the three most important issues for today. We can schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the remaining issues.”
3. Set the agenda for the visit
• “Let's make sure we are on the same page. We are going to cover these three issues today … correct?”
• “Are you okay with our plan for today's visit? I want to make sure that we are covering the most important issues.”
4. Surface any remaining concerns
• “Is there something else?”
5. Plan for the next visit
• “Since we were unable to finish talking about all the items on your list today, let's schedule another visit.”
Read the full FPM article: “What Should You Do When Your Patient Brings a List?”
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