Recently I read a tip in the Get Organized Now! Newsletter on how to keep track of your medical information. I agree it is important for everyone to keep medical info organized and handy for quick reference and emergency. For people who have reached the AARP age or beyond , it is even more important. One never knows what can happen the next day, or even the next minute.
Here is the advice and what to do.
Type up a personal medical history sheet and carry it with you at all times. Leave a copy in your purse or car. When you go to a doctor or ER, you can just hand this sheet to the medical professional if needed.
In an emergency situation, the info sheet could save time and life. You (or your spouse, friend, or adult child) can answer any questions necessary to ensure the best and most accurate care possible.
The medical info sheet should include the following:
- Your name at the top (as it is on your ID and insurance card)
- Date of birth
- Blood type
- Emergency contact information – list three or four people, include their name(s), relationship to you, complete address, and phone numbers (work, home, and mobile)
- Medical insurance information - the subscriber (even if it’s you), ID number, insurance (Blue Cross, HealthPartners, etc), group number, phone numbers and any other information on your insurance card.
- Smoker and/or drinker - if yes, how much.
- Medication and seasonal allergies - if you don’t have any, still put this and type none after it. Anything that is life threatening to you should be typed in red.
- Current doctors and specialty - phone numbers, and last date seen.
- Current medications - dosages, and frequency (how often you take them), include any/all over the counter medications and medications you only take as needed. Any life saving medications should be typed in red.
- Surgical history - include the year, surgery, and why. List the latest at the bottom.
- Diagnostic history - Include year and list the latest at the bottom. Anything that is life threatening to you now should be typed in red.
- Family medical history - include father, mother, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. After the diagnosis, put in parenthesis who was diagnosed and their current age. If that was the reason the person died put ‘COD’ (cause of death) after their relationship to you and put the age they passed. For examples:
- High blood pressure (Father, 68 years old)
- Lung Cancer (Mother, COD, deceased at 63 years old)
- Medical procedure update - this is where you put things like PSA testing, Pap’s, Mammograms, Tetanus shots, etc. After the procedure, type the date and results in parenthesis.
Type the ‘last revised’ date at the bottom right corner. As things change, you can just write on the page but this should be updated and a fresh paper printed once a year. You can do this after the annual check up or you birthday (Do the annual check up during your birthday month is a good idea).
This also works great for an elderly parent who may have more than one adult child taking them to appointments (as long as one person agrees to keep the sheet updated and the other agrees to hand write any changes as they occur).