You are responsible for your medical history. I always carry a list with me. When I get to an appointment, my memory ceases to be present. This list ensures any information requested of me is available.
What to Include:
- Name and Personal Information
- Medical Providers
- Medical Conditions
- Illnesses and Surgeries
- In Patient Hospital Stays
- Emergency Room visits (Optional.)
- Medications (Current dosage.)
- Medication History (Dosage and the reason for discontinuing.)
There may be a more appealing way to do this, but at least this is a quick way to organize medical notes to bring with you to every medical appointment you have, including dental appointments!
So let’s go over what is most important for you to carry with you, in your purse or on your person at all times. Then you decide if you want to put this information on your phone, in a computer file you can print out and carry with you or simply handwrite this info out. Whatever works best for you!
Now let’s discuss the above information.
Your Name and Personal Information. Date of birth and street address, with a phone number and emergency contact. Simple!
Medical Providers; their business addresses and phone numbers. Do this for EVERY physician, specialist, therapist, and dentist you currently see. Get that information down.
Medical Conditions you have been diagnosed with! List them.
Illnesses and Surgeries. Do a timeline for each, one for illnesses and one for surgeries. Just get the month and the year down for the medical event.
In-Patient hospital stays, for sure and Emergency Room (optional) visits. Remember as best you can the tests and procedures you had done and include them.
Medications. List our your current medications, supplements and PRN medications (as needed). List your allergies.
Medication History. Try to remember medications you have taken, the medication dosages, the effect this medication had on you and why it was discontinued.
Much of this information you can request from medical records and your pharmacy. Just give them a call. I have found the medical records personnel to be very helpful in sending me what I need. One exception, they do not go back farther than seven years. Just like taxes, medical records older than seven years are destroyed, so, get working on this!
Just follow this outline and remember to carry this with you at all times! This is part of excelling at being a responsible patient. And it is worth every minute you work on this because when the nurse or doctor asks you a question all you need to do is hand them your list.
Take charge of your health and live your best life!