Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Keeping Track of Medical Information - Works for me Wednesday

Rock's in My Dryer is hosting the last Works for me Wednesday of the year.

This is not only the "holiday season" but also "flu season". As much as we'd like to avoid making a trip to see the doctor this year, it's not always possible.

Here is a quick, easy way to keep track of your family's medical information... past illnesses, medical treatments, surgical procedures and the like.

Remembering previous illnesses and visits to the doctor, especially in a family where there are more than just you – is difficult. Before I had children I prided myself on my good memory – no need of a calendar for me. After children – I could not even remember what I was looking for in the fridge, let alone the date on a calendar.

My dh’s medical insurance at work has changed a few times and we always have to fill out forms detailing previous illnesses or medical treatments. I wasted a lot of time trying to remember as best as I could, as well as hunting through a messy file filled with various medical papers.

Then we came up with the idea of a medical log. We would record all the medical treatments as well as visits to the doctor for checkups and record when someone was sick, even if they did not visit the doctor.

When you go to the doctor because of a persistent problem with headaches, it’s good to know if the headaches began in January of 2007 or in the fall of 2006. Your daughter’s ankle is bothering her again - was her surgery in 2004 or 2005? Are your allergies worse in the summer or fall? Why is it that your son has been sick with a sore throat on and off for the past 3 months. Doctors like to know all these facts – and now you can have them at your fingertips.

I made up a simple table in a word document (you can use a spreadsheet program if that is easier for you).

There are columns for: dates of illness or treatment, family member, condition/diagnosis, treatment/meds, physician’s name and prognosis.

At least in our case, when completing paperwork for a new insurance plan – they wanted information for the last 5 years…so that is how far back we go. I don’t suggest you record every illness for every family member for the past 5 years – but all the medical procedures and major illnesses, would be helpful.

I’ve included a copy of our form – though with fictitious names and ailments for the most part.


Mommy Cracked said...

That's a very good idea! I need to do this for our family.

Phyllis Sommer said...

this is a great idea. i always imagine that i can remember but i can't. my doctor's office has all our records online, so if i really need to i can check for the last 6 months all the times we went in, etc...but beyond that, i have to ask them for the info...so this would be a great way to keep track. thanks!

The Correspondent said...

I love this idea, EE, and it's right up my alley! One of my favorite ways to relax and unwind is to schedule/plan and make lists (weird, huh?). This will be one of my 2008 projects.


Jen said...

Fantastic idea. My husband has diabetes so I always need a good way to keep medical records. My best tip is that I have a little pouch with magnets on it and I keep it on the fridge. In it, I keep all the of inserts from the medications he is on. I dump them all out and start again each time I refill his prescriptions. That way I know they are always up to date.

happygeek said...

Great idea!

The Daileys said...

YOu know, this is one of those issues that bugs me every time we visit a new doctor (often lately with my son) and I always mean to do something about it and don't. Thanks for a great remedy!

Laane said...

This is such a good idea!!!

I alwasy knew and last week for the first time I didn't remember exactly.

Thank you very much for this idea!!!

Feel welcome to visit my blog

Laane on the World

to see what works for me.

Merry Christmas
and a
Happy New Year!

Vickie said...

Wow that is really cool! I have tried to get our info in some sort of program but I really like this.

Thanks for your comments today. I laughed out loud when you mentioned if you see room spray in New Mexico you will know we have been there! Hilarious!
Have blessed season!