Organizing Your Medical Records

I think that most people keep their medical records in their home filing system. For most people, that is fine. But think about this... what good are they doing you if they're at home in a file when you're at the doctor's office and your physician is asking about your past history of health issues? It's very difficult to go from memory on most things you've done in your life.

In my case, my son has some issues which require him to visit his doctors quite often. It's difficult keeping them all updated on what the other is doing, remembering the address and such of previous doctors and exactly who did what and when.

My solution to this problem was to create a medical records notebook for him. This way I can carry it with me wherever we go and it has all of his medical information. I can then ask and answer questions better and definitely be more informed and on top of things.

How to Organize a Medical Records Notebook

The medical records notebook is pretty simple, but extremely helpful. I just bought a one inch notebook (for now) and some tabs. I created the following sections to keep track of information:

Immunizations: I have the little card the hospital gave my son when he was born and keep that in the very front pocket of the notebook to be pulled out when needed.

Doctor Information: This section contains the names, addresses and phone numbers of all of his past and current doctors.

Medications: A list of all current medications and dosages. Also listed is the name, address and phone number of our regular pharmacy and their hours of operation.

Test Results: This section includes all test results for various procedures including blood tests and other diagnostic procedures. I keep track of the dates of the test and the results and any follow-up if needed.

Notes/History: I keep a running tab of notes from discussions with doctors in person or via phone. This includes my questions with their answers, test results given to me via phone, etc. This helps to remember when we talked about certain things and what our course of action was for the future. Before every appointment I make up a list of questions for the doctor and make sure I go down the list and get them all answered. Then I can just file it in the notebook.

Other: This includes any legal medical papers signed for a procedure, HIPPA papers and other insurance papers I feel need to be handy.

Walking into the doctor's office with this notebook makes me feel a lot more organized and on top of what is going on. I am only in charge of my family... the doctor sees several patients a day. So it is in my best interest to keep my family's records organized.

I have a notebook started for my daughter as well, and luckily for her, there isn't much in there! But what she has is organized. My goal now is to go back and put one together for myself. I wish someone had started one for me as a child. I highly recommend it for everyone going forward, even if you're generally a healthy person. As we age, we certainly have a lot more screening and tests to keep track of!

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