Earlier this year, Google added a “COVID-19 alert” from the CDC to hospital and other healthcare provider listings. Google Health is now piloting a general tool to help plan your hospital visits.

Google worked with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on what’s essentially a checklist. The tool surfaces common questions like “What is the test for” and “Why do I need this treatment” to “What are the possible complications.” Users can write their own and drag to adjust the order. 

After completing, Google reminds you to bring a list of medications you’re taking, insurance card, and other documentation. Users then have the option to print out or email to themselves. The company says it “does not store any of the information,” and that the experience is accessible while signed out of your Google Account.

People come to Google for health-related information every day, and we’re committed to helping them get the information they need along their healthcare journey. The tool does not gather any personal health information or store any of the information that is entered into the tool.

This visit planner from Google Health comes as increased preparation leads to a “high-quality, efficient encounter and better physical and mental health outcomes.” It makes patients more engaged in the process:

The suggested questions, developed by AHRQ as part of its “Questions are the Answer” initiative, are designed to get people thinking about their goals and priorities for the visit. 

Still in the pilot phase, Google says that it’s currently available to a “limited number of people in the United States and will expand to more users over time.” “Start a checklist” will appear at the bottom of health-related listings in Search and Maps. You can also visit the tool directly at anytime here.

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