Making the Most of Your Appointment
Steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your visit with your provider
Reviewed by: Mary Montgomery, Director of UT Health Austin's Access Cernter
Written by: Lauren Schneider
Have you ever felt rushed during a doctor’s appointment? Did you plan to ask questions only to forget them when the time came? Perhaps you even forgot most of what you spoke with your doctor about. If you thought you were prepared but ended up leaving your appointment feeling overwhelmed and disoriented, you are not alone.
At UT Health Austin, we believe in providing the tools that allow patients to become active participants in their health care so that they experience better health outcomes. There are several steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your visit with your provider.
<br>Gather Your Medical Records
To request a copy of your medical record from an outside provider, such as a referring doctor, be sent to UT Health Austin, please complete the Authorization to Receive Records Form and (also available in Spanish) give it to your current provider so that they can send your medical records to UT Health Austin. Records can be sent to UT Health Austin by fax at 1-512-495-5680 or emailed to UTHA.HIM@austin.utexas.edu.
<br>Complete Your Pre-Appointment Questionnaire
Prior to your initial appointment, you will receive multiple emails requesting you to register as a patient at UT Health Austin. You will also receive an email with a detailed pre-appointment questionnaire. Be sure to follow the enrollment instructions in the emails and complete the questionnaire as soon as possible. Completing the questionnaire ahead of time allows your care team to review your answers prior to your visit and can help optimize your time spent with your provider.
Arrive 30 Minutes Before Your Appointment Time
Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. If you have not completed your pre-appointment questionnaire, you will be asked to do so at check-in and may need to plan for additional time.
Please bring the following to your appointment:
- Valid identification such as a driver’s license, state-issued ID, Social Security card, passport, birth certificate, military ID, or employment authorization
- Insurance card(s)
- A method of payment; UT Health Austin accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, cash, or personal check
- Complete list of medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements
- Complete list of other physicians you see, their contact information, and why you see them
- Results from any other tests performed since your last visit, including those ordered by physicians outside UTHA
<br>Communicating Your Needs
If you require mobility assistance, please call the Access Center at 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737) upon arriving at the Health Transformation Building, and a staff member will assist you to your appointment.
UT Health Austin provides free aids and services to people with hearing and speech impairments as well as free language services for people whose primary language is not English. If you need these services, please let the patient access staff know at check-in.
Be Honest With Yourself and Your Provider
Be honest about where you are in your health journey and what you want to get out of your appointment. Sharing your concerns and goals with your provider allows your care team to create an individualized care plan that addresses your unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs.
Strategies to improve communication with your provider:
- Repeat back what you understand your provider to be saying
- Ask clarification questions about anything you’re unsure of
- Share your top 3-5 concerns
Bring A Care Support Person
We strongly encourage you to bring along a family member or someone who knows you well to take notes, act as a witness, offer advice, provide emotional support, or advocate for you.
Staying in Touch
<br>Enroll in Your MyUTHA Patient Portal
UT Health Austin’s MyUTHA Patient Portal is your secure, online connection to portions of your UT Health Austin electronic medical record. Through your personal MyUTHA Patient Portal account, you can view your patient summaries, lab results, and immunization records as well as contact your care team, manage your appointments, and more. And, you can do it all at any time, day or night.
Your personal MyUTHA Patient Portal account allows you to:
- View your upcoming appointments as well as the details of your past appointments, including care summaries created by your care team
- Request new appointments and prescription refills
- Include attachments in your secure messaging through a mobile web browser
- View your medical test results, immunization records, billing statements, and patient education materials
- Access your UT Health Austin patient records through the Health app available on iPhone
- Log in to all of your Athena patient portal accounts, including those athenahealth accounts that you have with a health system or doctor’s office outside of UT Health Austin, using one username and password
You are eligible for a portal invitation once you have completed your initial appointment with UT Health Austin and become an established patient. You will receive an invitation via the email you provided after your initial appointment is complete.
If you are an established patient, meaning you have previously been seen by a provider at UT Health Austin, and you do not have access to a patient portal and would like one, please call the Access Center at 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737) and request an invitation.
Complete Your Post-Appointment Survey
At UT Health Austin, we value your experience. Patients have an opportunity to share their care experience by completing their post-appointment survey. These surveys allow us to understand what went well during your appointment and how we can improve our care delivery.
<br>Sign Up for the Latest Health News
For answers to frequently asked questions regarding your upcoming appointment with UT Health Austin, visit here.