For many reasons, it’s good to have copies of your medical information. If you need an air ambulance, your medical records will provide us with the information we need to care for you on your flight. If you have a disease, or are a caregiver of someone who does, organized medical records will help doctors able to treat you. Plus organized medical records remove the clutter to speed up the medical process if you have to go to an emergency room or change doctors.
How do you know what to keep and what can be discarded? Depending on your health you could have stacks of papers that could be vital for your medical treatments. Organize your health information for you, for your loved ones, and for your doctors by following these simple steps:
Doctor Contact Information is Vital for Your Medical Records
The first thing you need to do when organizing medical records is to have your doctor information handy. If you change doctors, become sick or need a caregiver, they will need to talk with your past doctors. A doctor directory can be done using software like Excel spreadsheets, or by hand using a contact address book. Include the full name, phone, address, email for all the doctors that you use.
Medical History and Family Info Should All be Kept
The most important documents that you’ll want to keep in a folder include your family health history (especially for your parents, grandparents and siblings) as well as your own personal health history. Your personal health history should include any conditions and how they are being treated/controlled. You should also have records of any surgeries, accidents, hospitalizations, medicines you’re taking, and any allergy information. That includes any doctor visit summaries and notes from hospital discharges, plus test results. Pharmacy printouts and prescriptions should also be added.
While not part of your medical records, your legal information is also vital to include with your medical information. Your insurance information should be handy as should your living will. This will give medical professionals and caregivers a head start to know what your wishes are if you are too sick to communicate, and will help save you, or loved ones any financial stresses.
Use Technology to Organize Your Medical Records, But Physical Copies are Most Helpful
Combine all this information into an organized folder on your computer, or in a binder to keep (or both). Physical copies of all of this information in a binder can be taken with you on every doctor visit. Combine all this information into an organized folder on your computer, or in a binder to keep (or both). If you store anything on your computer, have a backup, either via a cloud service like Google Drive or on a secondary hard drive. There are even apps for your phone or tablet that you can use to keep everything digital. Make sure if you go the digital route to change your password often and use highly-rated apps for security.
When you’re ill or have an accident, extra stress can make recovery more difficult. These simple steps will ensure that your medical information is well organized and you can receive the care that you need without any headaches.