Keep Your PCP Informed

Keep Your PCP Informed

You can do your part in coordinating your care. If you have received care in any health care setting outside of your primary care physician’s (PCP) office, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure a smooth and timely transition. 

Ask for a Visit or Discharge Summary

First, ask your health care provider to send a discharge or visit summary to your PCP. The summary information includes a list of discharge medicines you were prescribed. It is important for your PCP to review any medicines you were prescribed. Your PCP can decide if any further medication changes are needed.

The summary also lets your PCP know the reason services were needed, what tests were done and what follow-up is needed.

In 2022, we surveyed many of our physicians and asked if they received a discharge summary and if they got it within 10 business days. Hospitals were the most likely to send the summaries (69 percent) and sent summaries the quickest. Retail clinics were the least likely to send the information (50 percent) and were slow to send it.

So when you receive health care services outside of your PCP’s office, be sure to ask for a summary of your visit to be sent to your PCP. 

Follow Up with Your PCP

Second, make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your PCP. That way you can discuss the care you received, test results or medicine changes. It also helps make sure you get safe, timely follow-up care.

Doing these two things can help make sure your care is coordinated between your PCP and other providers.

Originally published 5/26/2021; Revised 2022, 2023