How to make the most of your appointment
We appreciate that your time is valuable. The following tips will allow you to make the most of your appointment with Dr Jill Tomlinson at Melbourne Hand Surgery.
We recommend that prior to your appointment you:
1. Read your appointment confirmation email fully. This email contains contain general information that will assist you in preparing for your appointment. Depending on what information you have provided to our administrative staff, the email may include additional general information and website links regarding the treatments that may be offered or discussed during your appointment.
2. Complete and submit your three patient forms before your appointment. These forms are the Patient Registration Form, Privacy Consent Form and Photography Consent Form. If you complete and return these forms prior to your appointment it enables our administrative staff to enter important details into your file prior to your appointment with Dr Tomlinson.
3. Provide our office with your referral and the full details of any relevant scans or tests that you have had relating to the condition for which you are seeking this appointment. This not only ensures that the information is in your file for your appointment, but also allows Dr Tomlinson to review the information prior to your appointment.
4. Plan to arrive 5 minutes early for your appointment. If you attend late for your appointment you will not make the most of your appointment.
5. Write a list of questions that you have prior to your appointment, so that these are readily available for you to ask during your consultation.
Why do we ask that you provide us with your referral, registration forms and test details prior to your consultation?
We request that patients provide us with their patient forms, referral and test details in advance of their consultation. This is not because we wish to burden you with paperwork, it is because if you provide us with this information it improves efficiency and we may be able to offer improved care by:
1. Offering you an earlier appointment if your condition will be best treated through early or “emergency” treatment.
2. Confirming that we have access to any radiology images that Dr Tomlinson will need to see in order to make treatment recommendations. Please do not assume that the radiology provider will have “sent these through”, that Dr Tomlinson will have access to this imaging, or that we have any special way of knowing what tests you have had done or when/where these were performed. If we are informed that you have had x-rays, CTs or MRIs performed often we need to phone the radiology provider to gain access and to do that we need to know your demographic details, when and where you had the imaging performed, and what imaging was performed. If these matters are dealt with prior to your appointment it can save you the need to attend an additional review appointment with Dr Tomlinson.
3. Contacting the place where you had your nerve conduction studies done, so that Dr Tomlinson will have a copy of these at the time of your appointment. Please do not assume that we will have received these. In order to request these studies on your behalf we need your demographic details and information about where and when you had the nerve conduction studies performed.
4. Putting you in contact with a hand therapist if your condition is best treated through early hand therapy, and you have not yet seen a hand therapist for a splint or early treatment.
5. Pre-warning our on-site hand therapist that you are likely to require their assistance or review after your appointment with Dr Tomlinson.
6. Contacting you to request that you also complete an “authority to release treatment information” so that we can try to obtain information of previous surgery that you have had done from your previous surgeon or the hospital where the surgery was performed.
7. Advising you of any initial recommendations that Dr Tomlinson makes after she reviews the information that you have provided. In some circumstances Dr Tomlinson will recommend that a patient has a particular scan or investigation prior to an initial consultation. Recommendations of this nature are generally only made when Dr Tomlinson has sighted your referral and initial imaging results. In some circumstances Dr Tomlinson will contact your referring doctor after receiving your referral to discuss investigations or treatments that might be appropriate for you to have prior to your initial appointment.
8. Advising you that Dr Tomlinson does not offer surgery for the condition that you have been referred for – for example, breast reduction surgery, elbow joint surgery.