Once you have a confirmed initial appointment with one of our rheumatologists there are several things you can do in advance to ensure the best possible outcomes from your initial consultations.
At Brisbane Rheumatology all of our initial consultations are booked at 1 hour intervals. This is to ensure you have plenty of time to discuss your symptoms, allow a thorough clinical examination and for you to discuss your past medical history and concerns and adequate time to review any investigations including blood tests, x-rays and scans you may have already completed.
Brisbane Rheumatology aims to provide a safe and respectful space for patients and staff. Abusive or threatening behaviour or language will not be tolerated and will result in further appointments with our practice being cancelled.
Running to time
At Brisbane Rheumatology we appreciate your time is important and we endeavour, wherever possible, to run to time with our appointments. It is important to understand that while we allocate generous appointment times for all our appointments, there are occasions where our patients will have unexpected complexity in the management of their condition necessitating extra consultation time.
We also have a significant number of patients who travel vast distances, often interstate and sometimes internationally, in order to see our rheumatologists. It may be necessary to accommodate unavoidable travel delays, that may affect appointment times.
Our rheumatologists manage large numbers of patients Australia-wide, and will often be required to provide urgent consultation by telephone to various hospitals and emergency departments around NSW and Queensland during office hours which can also affect appointment times. Where possible, our highly trained staff will attempt to notify you if there is going to be a significant delay in your appointment time.
Preparing for your appointment
To facilitate discussion during your initial consultation, it would be very helpful if you are able to spend some time and prepare a list of symptoms and concerns you have been experiencing, and questions you might have for your rheumatologist in advance for discussion during your appointment.
If you are able to prepare a list of blood tests, x-rays and scans you have already completed, including details of the provider where you had these tests completed, for example, Sullivan and Nicolaides pathology or QML for blood tests, QSCAN, IMED, Queensland X-ray for scans and x-rays etc.
Ideally your referring doctor will include a copy of these results, however to allow your rheumatologist to view these scans and blood tests they will need to be downloaded securely into your electronic medical record at our practice. Our staff can facilitate this however they will need to know which service provider you attended to have those tests completed.
You can email our practice in advance of your appointment or if you do not have the chance to do this then simply bring along those details with you to the appointment.
Often rheumatic disease can have myriad presentations that can affect multiple body organs aside from your joints and spine. Your rheumatologist will often want to have a listen to your heart sounds and chest, sometimes examine your abdomen, in addition to examining your joints and spine. We do have gowns to allow you to change into to allow a complete examination however it can be helpful if you can wear appropriate clothing to help facilitate this.
At the conclusion of your initial consultation, your rheumatologist may request further investigations including scans, x-rays , blood tests etc and arrange a follow-up appointment with you to discuss these results and formulate a management plan with you to effectively manage your condition.
Communicating to your GP & other specialists
After all consultations with our rheumatologists a letter communicating a management plan will be sent electronically by a government endorsed encrypted electronic messaging service to your referring doctor.
It is vital that if you change GPs that you notify our office as we will always send communication to the GP listed on file in your medical record including copies of all tests requested. If you would like a copy of that letter, please let your rheumatologist know at the time of consultation.
If you would like us to send correspondence to other specialists involved in your care please let our staff know when you check in at reception they will add relevant details of those additional doctors as interested parties to your file which will allow our rheumatologists to communicate with those interested parties easily.
Changes to your GP
Please note if you change your mailing/home address or phone contact details it is vital you inform our staff preferably by email with new details so that our file can be updated as on occasion your rheumatologist may need to contact you urgently to discuss test results etc.
Giving us feedback
At Brisbane Rheumatology we strongly believe good medical care is a partnership between our patients and their treating rheumatologist and our team of treating rheumatologists have been chosen to work with us based not only on their extensive clinical experience but more importantly their caring and empathic attitude towards patient care.
If at any time you feel that you are unhappy with the care you are receiving it is important that you communicate those concerns with our practice and this can be addressed immediately. Please click on the following link which will allow you to express your concerns.