We’ve all heard it before. The best approach to our health is a proactive one. That’s where an Annual Wellness Visit comes in. It’s is a free, yearly meeting that allows you to not only check in on your current health, but also create a personalized plan moving into the future.
Before we go further, it is important to establish exactly what an Annual Wellness Visit is. This is not a physical. This is simply time set aside for a healthy conversation. A chance for you to address your concerns, review your medications and immunizations and review your existing medical issues with either a primary care physician, nurse or nurse practitioner.
You will also receive a health risk assessment. From documenting your basic benchmarks like height, weight and blood pressure to questions about your mental health and how you care for yourself, this will allow your primary care physician to get a better understanding of where you stand and what types of screenings might be best for you going forward.
So, what does a successful Annual Wellness Visit entail? What will it mean for your health in the future? These are the top four questions to ask yourself coming out of your visit. If you can answer yes to all four, this free visit has put you on the path to better health.
1. Did you establish a future wellness schedule?
During your visit, your physician will provide you with a five to ten-year schedule of the screenings you will need. Make sure to ask the physician if you have any questions regarding any of the screenings.
2. Did you create a personal health record?
All of the information required at your visit will automatically be turned into a personal health record. This is an important opportunity to think about who will need it in the future. Make sure to obtain a copy for yourself and others who may need access to it.
3. Did you get a complete picture of your health?
It’s important coming out of your annual wellness visit to have an understanding of your complete health picture. Consider your visit a two-way dialogue for you to get your concerns addressed, get tips on ways you can improve certain aspects of your health and understand what you’re doing right and should continue to do.
4. Did you put yourself in a position for early diagnosis and detection?
You should leave your visit with a sense of empowerment. A clear direction on the kinds of screenings and tests you should be getting in the upcoming months and years to put yourself in a position to identify any health risks and get them assessed early.
When you’re ready to take charge of your health with an Annual Wellness Visit, reach out to your primary care provider and schedule an appointment. Then, when the time comes, make sure to bring the following four items to your visit:
- A current list of the providers and specialists you see
- A list of your current medications
- A record of your immunizations
- A list of questions you would like to address with the physician
No matter your age, it truly is possible to put yourself in a position for better health. We are hoping you take the opportunity to do just that. Get started today by scheduling your Annual Wellness Visit.