New Patient Process at ISPW
Patients dealing with chronic pain are often suffering and desperate for relief. When I have a new patient come through my doors for help, they usually are needing relief the same day. It always bothers me to have to tell them that there is a process that they have to go through before I am allowed to provide certain forms of treatment. I want to dedicate this blog to outline what the patient process looks like and what you can expect when becoming a new patient!
What to expect when deciding to get treated for your pain symptoms?
Chronic pain is considered any pain lasting longer than 3-6 months. We have covered what constitutes chronic pain in previous blogs, but let me give you a quick refresher. There are two types of pain that I treat. The first form is acute pain.
Acute pain is usually sharp in feeling and caused by:
Chronic Pain continues even after you have recovered from your injury or illness. Forms of chronic pain can be:
- neck pain
- back pain
- hip pain
- knee pain
- neurologic pain
- muscle pain
- cancer pain
Depending on what type of pain you have, the first step is always to call and make an appointment. You may even have your primary care or other physician suggest that you need to come see me. Once you decide, or get a referral, you will call our front desk to speak with our amazing team. Our friendly and helpful team members will assist you in getting you on my schedule. They are great about working with your schedule to get you seen when it’s best for you.
Due to high demand it’s important to call as soon as you get a referral, or decide you need to come see me. This ensures you get an appointment in a timely manner. Make sure to have your insurance card and schedule ready when calling. Our team will need to input your information in the system to complete your appointment. Once your appointment is made, our team will send you all of your patient paperwork to complete before your registration process.
The Day of Your First Appointment
When coming in for your first appointment you will arrive 30 minutes before the appointment time. This helps you get everything completed before you meet me. Once you arrive, our team will greet you and get you checked-in. They will collect your co-pay and ensure that your paperwork is all completed. From there, they will have you relax in our calming and tranquil lobby. We have a coffee/tea bar where you can help yourself to a number of refreshments.
Our medical assistant will then come and escort you back to the exam room. They will take your vitals and go over all of your paperwork. At that point you can sit, relax, read and wait to be seen. Usually wait times are fairly short. There are days where I may be running a little behind. My goal is to give each patient the time that they need to go over their medical history, symptoms and to come up with a the best suited treatment plan. Some exams/appointments have a lot of detail to go over and can take some extra time. It is rare that I am running behind, but I always want my patients to be aware that there is a possibility and I will do my very best to get you seen in a timely fashion.
During the Exam
During your first appointment, I will go over your medical history and look at your symptoms in depth. I like to get a good look at when your symptoms started, what your diet looks like, how you’re sleeping, any past trauma you have experienced, you physical activity level, and any past injuries. I will then perform an examination based on your symptoms. Taking a look at all of these factors allows me to come up with a thorough and effective treatment plan. Most patients that come in for the first time are in pain and are hoping to get relief on the same day. Unfortunately, I have to follow guidelines before being able to provide treatment. Most patients are using insurance when coming in for a visit. When using insurance there is a process that we go through in order to get your treatments covered fully.
After completing your exam I will more than likely want to take a deeper look into what is going on in your body. If it’s necessary, I will order further imaging (MRI, X-Ray, Etc) to get a good look at what could be causing your pain. From there, I may suggest starting physical therapy to help reduce symptoms until I can complete your treatment plan. I will also give you a home treatment guide that you can follow to help reduce the severity of your pain. Some form of medication may be needed, but I do focus more on non-narcotic modalities to help heal your pain instead of masking it.
I also have a wealth of knowledge on a variety of modalities that can help you, and that work in conjunction with my treatment plan to get you back to living your preferred lifestyle. My goal is to provide as much relief in the initial visit that I can. Once a treatment plan has been achieved (we will work on this together) I will send you home with all of the information needed to get you back to feeling better.
Our medical assistant will then come in and go over everything that you’re being sent home with. They will escort you to the check-out counter, where our team will get you scheduled for your follow-up appointment, or your procedure (if needed).
After the Appointment
It’s important to follow the guidelines given during your first appointment. If imaging is requested, give the imaging center a call and get on their schedule ASAP. They tend to book up quickly. We will send your orders over to the imaging center so they are ready and waiting at the time of your appointment. Note: if you happen to change your appointment to a different location, always notify our team to ensure we forward over your orders to the new facility.
Our goal at ISPW is to get you better! We want you to live the best life that you are capable of. We know that pain can be limiting, life altering and cause you to lose hope. We want to give you that hope back by coming up with a treatment plan that will hopefully help relieve your symptoms and get you back to an ideal lifestyle. My number one focus is helping patients to live a healthy and happy life. Together, as a team we can achieve it! I look forward to meeting any new patients and I always look forward to seeing current patients. I am grateful for the opportunity to help you.
For more information regarding an appointment with ISPW, please reach out to our front office.
We are always here to help and serve you.
Here’s to good health and less pain,