Time with a doctor is precious – we can help you make the most of it.

Media Release: For immediate release

A tool to help people make the most of their medical appointments has been launched today, Thursday 11 May.

Called Question Builder, the tool guides patients through a series of steps, from selecting which type of appointment they are preparing for, to selecting the most important questions to ask first. It then creates a list of questions that a patient can print or email to themselves, or someone else, and take to their medical appointment.

Developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) in partnership with Healthdirect Australia, the Question Builder will be a feature on the healthdirect website.

The tool can help people prepare for a visit to the doctor to talk about their symptoms, a check-up, managing an ongoing health issue or to talk about medicines, tests or surgery.

Commission Chief Executive Officer Adjunct Professor Debora Picone AM said research indicates that people “want to be better informed and more involved in decisions about their health care.”

“Partnering with Healthdirect Australia to develop this tool is an important part of the Commission’s work in shared decision making in health care,” Professor Picone said.

“We know that time with a doctor is precious and Question Builder will help people make the most of it by coming to their medical appointment with questions they have regarding their care.

“The best healthcare decisions are made when patients and healthcare practitioners make informed decisions together,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer of Healthdirect Australia, Colin Seery, said the Question Builder launch would further enable Australians to manage their own health and wellbeing, a key part of Healthdirect Australia’s vision.

“Adding to our suite of services that enable people to manage their own health and wellbeing, Question Builder will provide reassurance to people during their medical appointment but also improve the outcome of the appointment.

“This tool essentially assists the patient in discussing their health issue while giving the doctor a clear view of their concern. Decision-making on next steps can then be shared with a joint understanding from both parties,” Mr Seery said.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Commission on this tool, which goes a long way towards building health literacy across Australia.”

Question Builder has been adapted for the Australian health care context, from a tool developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), based in the United States.

For more information or to see Question builder visit www.healthdirect.gov.au/question-builder 

Media enquiries

The Commission

Katherine Barnsley, Communications Advisor

(02) 91263676


Healthdirect Australia

Elaine McFadden, Communications Manager

(02) 9263 9180 / 0424 312 219


About the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is an Australian Government agency that leads and coordinates national improvements in the safety and quality of health care based on the best available evidence. By working in partnership with patients, consumers, clinicians, managers, policy makers and health care organisations, our aim is to achieve a sustainable, safe and high-quality health system. As a result of its work, the Commission has an ongoing program of significant national activity with outcomes that are demonstrating direct patient benefit as well as creating essential underpinnings for ongoing improvement. The Commission aims to use its role as the national body for safety and quality in health care in Australia to ensure that the health system is better informed, supported and organised to deliver safe and high-quality care.

About Healthdirect Australia

Healthdirect Australia is a national, government-owned, not-for-profit organisation established to provide all Australians with access to trusted health information and advice, when and where they need it. We deliver a number of health and related services, including healthdirect (a free service procured and managed by Healthdirect Australia on behalf of its government shareholders), after hours GP helpline, Pregnancy Birth and Baby, Carer Gateway and My Aged Care.

For more information visit: https://about.healthdirect.gov.au/ .