Organizing Medical Records

Keep a folder of all medical information. It is good to have a binder in addition to a folder on the computer, so you can take critical medical information with you to appointments. Information Needed:

· Health insurance cards, Medicare cards, and so on

· Appointment reminder cards from health care providers

· A list of medications including dosages, frequency, date started and reason

· A medical history

· A list of emergency contacts, relationship, addresses and all phone numbers

· A sheet for recording the date of visits, the provider and any tests performed or instructions

· Any special logs such as blood pressure readings, blood sugar levels or symptoms

· A copy of a health care proxy, advanced directives or living will

· A power-of-attorney, if one is used


Consider purchasing a three ring binder with clear pockets.

· Keep the binder in a handy location. Make sure every caregiver knows where it is kept.

· Label the front boldly and clearly – EMERGENCY MEDICAL INFORMATION

· Consider using clear sheet protectors to hold papers. These make it easy to remove papers for photocopying or for handing pages to a healthcare worker.

· Pick up a business card from each healthcare provider. Slip the business cards into vinyl page protectors.

· Each time you make an appointment, take the reminder cards and put them these cards into a page protector. Keep old appointment cards if you don’t want to take the trouble of recording visit details elsewhere.

· When you add any information to a document, put the date at the top of the page to show how current the data is.

· List an out-of-state emergency contact to be used in case of a widespread disaster.

· Photocopy important pages and cards and keep them elsewhere for extra protection.

· Search the Internet. Many Websites provide blank forms for medical history, medication and other health records.

What should you keep in a medical history?

· Names of all physicians

· Known allergies or reactions to medications

· Medications including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbs

· Health conditions and date of diagnosis

· Dates of most recent exams, tests and immunizations

· Dates and reasons for hospitalizations

· Dates and details of surgeries

· Dates and length of major illnesses

· History of smoking and use of alcohol

· Location of living will or medical directives

· History of exposure to dangerous conditions or hazards

· Family history including illnesses or conditions of parents and siblings

· Cause of death of parents and siblings and their age at death

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