Bills, prescription information, receipts, vaccination records. It can be tough to keep track of all these items, especially if you are managing medical information for a child, aging parent, or another person you’re caring for.
October is Organize Your Medical Information Month as well as Long-Term Care Planning Month. While you could do both tasks during any time of year, it is often true that something that can be done at any time doesn’t get done. Having your medical information organized can be very helpful for anyone who is taking care of you. Organizing information for individuals you are caring for can save you a lot of time and frantic searching in the future. After all, having your own medical records can help you receive safer and faster treatment if you change healthcare providers, move, or find yourself in an emergency room.
Create a System That Works for You
Are most of your files digital or paper? Do you prefer binders, folders, notebooks, or another way to organize information? What is easiest for you to use, store, update, and transport to future appointments?
While organizing medical information is very important, it’s even more helpful to build a system that is easy to use in the future, so you don’t have to get organized again in a few months! Many people find that a three-ring binder is very useful for this purpose, because it’s easy to insert new information in an organized manner. If you can, make duplicate electronic copies of your documents and save them securely so you have a back up copy of all records.
You’ll first need to locate copies of all medical records. You may have them in various formats around your home and computer, or you might find that you need to contact your healthcare provider’s office to request copies of your records. Be sure to let them know that you’re creating a personal health record. If you’re a caregiver who is requesting records for someone else, you need to be sure that a direct authorization to share records is signed by the patient.
Next, organize all medical history and current health information so it’s easy to access. This may include:
- Office visit information
- Hearing, vision, and dental records
- Medicines taken in the past as well as currently, and any side effects experienced
- List of allergies
- Immunization records
- Dates and results of tests, health screenings, and procedures
- Family history of disease
- Information related to any major illnesses or surgeries
- Summary of any hospital visits
- Information needed in an emergency
- List of chronic health problems, such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, etc.
You’ll also want to include a list of all medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements taken. Note the name, dosage, start date, end date, condition being treated, and any side effects.
Organize copies of all bills, receipts, and insurance documents in chronological order. This can help you make sure that bills are being paid on time and can also be very helpful when you prepare to file your taxes.
Finally, build a list of important contacts, such as your doctor, optometrist, dentist, pharmacist, and any other healthcare providers you see. Include emergency contact information of a caregiver or trusted individual to contact in case of an emergency. Keep a copy of your insurance information in the file as well.
When managing a chronic health condition or a serious disease such as cancer, many patients and caregivers (not to mention healthcare providers!) find it helpful to keep a record of any symptoms, complications, or side effects. This makes it easier to provide key information to your doctor during office visits that can help your doctor make sure you are receiving the best care possible for your condition. This is also very helpful if you or someone you love has been injured unexpectedly.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to vaping lung injury, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.