This chapter has many forms to help you organize and plan your child's care. Use a checklist to keep track of information.
Before the VisitDuring the VisitAfter the Visit
  • When making the appointment, tell the receptionist your child will need extra time

  • If you need to cancel the appointment, call your provider at least 24 hours beforehand

  • Ask your provider whether your visit needs a referral and/or authorization

  • Think about the purpose of the visit. What matters to you most?

  • Make a list of questions and concerns to talk about

  • Bring paper and pen to take notes during the visit

  • Bring along any medical records you might need. Bring Directions

  • Bring your child's medications or medication list

  • Prepare your child for the visit. Encourage your child to ask questions too

  • Be on time

  • Bring health insurance referral and/or authorization paperwork, if needed

  • Talk about your list of questions and concerns

  • If your child is a teen or young adult, encourage your child to talk to the provider alone

  • Discuss any changes in your child's health since the last visit

  • Talk about important events that have occurred lately

  • Ask about any treatments or procedures you may have questions about

  • Take notes

  • Leave paperwork (such as school physical forms, nursing orders, etc.) with your health care provider to be filled out and sent back to you later

  • Ask about future medical tests and appointments

  • Review your notes. Think about whether your questions were answered

  • If you have more questions after the visit, it's okay to call your provider

  • Did your provider give you any new instructions about your child's care? If so, share these and other things you learned at the visit with those who need to know- like caregivers and family members

  • If you were given a referral to see another provider, make sure to call and make that appointment

  • On your calendar, write down the next appointment or when to call for the next appointment

  • Update Directions

(Adapted from Health Care Visit Checklist. Bright Futures for Families and Making the Most of a Ten Minute Office Visit. Massachusetts Family TIES

Contact Information

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108-4619
800-882-1435 (in MA only) or 617-624-6060
617-624-5992 (TTY)

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