Organizing home medical records is something that many of us put off. After all, it takes time to gather up all the documents, medications, supplements, the names and addresses of the doctors and medical professionals we use. We promise ourselves that we can remember all those details that we need. Yet, the truth is we can forget over time, especially when an emergency happens that shakes us to the core. Here are some helpful ways to organize your home medical records to keep ahead of health.
Keeping Information Together Has Value When Organizing Home Medical Records
What I like to do is keep a separate file for each family member. Though you can do a lot of this online, I like to use physical copies to file away. Though you can use sheets of paper, I prefer a small notebook about four inches x-six inches for each of us. At any rate, I feel they are handier and keep my information more secure than a possible internet security breech.
Start by making a list of all the doctors and other medical professionals such as a physical therapist, a speech therapist, etc. that you and your family may see. Be sure to include their addresses, phone numbers and complete names. File each family member’s list accordingly.
Next, gather all the medications and supplements used by each family member. Write that information down with the name of the drug, the dosage, how often it is taken, and the start date of the medication. Any over the counter medications that you may be taking also need to be jotted down as well.
If you don’t care for the notebook system, I recommend keeping this information on an index card inside the file of that family member. This way you can easily pull it out and pack it in your handbag when visiting the doctor because you’re always asked to supply that information. I also strongly advise adding any allergies you have. For your own safety, list any bad reactions to any medications, latex, adhesives or tests such as certain X-rays that may use iodine for example.
Noting all surgeries, major problems, immunizations, insurance information, family history of diseases, names, addresses and phone number of doctors that once treated you should also be included in the file of each family member.
Proof of Medical Payments Has Value As Well When Organizing Home Medical Records
We all know what follows soon after visiting your doctor and lab tests–the bills immediately appear. It is to your best interests to save those Explanation of Benefits forms when they arrive from your insurance company that detail what tests or services you were charged for. Check for accuracy because mistakes happen.
I had some routine blood work done locally once and the tests from the lab were sent out of state. As you might guess, the insurance provider didn’t want to cover it because they thought I went out of state to have this blood work done. After a series of phone calls, I finally got this problem fixed. Therefore, I advise reading those statements carefully.
If someone in your household had a lot of medical issues during the year, organizing the arriving Explanation of Benefits for the year could also come in handy for a possible tax deduction.
All paid medical bills need to be included in each family member’s file in case you receive another bill. The check or credit card statement is your proof that you already took care of your financial responsibility.
You have one more thing to think about if the worst happens to you. The only way to make sure that your wishes are carried out is through drawing up a medical power of attorney document.
Organizing home medical records as they come in can speed this important task along. It can also help safeguard you and your family’s health in the long-run.