Let’s face it, at some point in our lives, we will face a medical crisis, take care of a family member with a major illness, or care for elderly parents. What do they all have in common? Lots of paperwork. Learn how you can organize your medical files and records to give you one less thing to worry about during this time of extensive medical care.
I know that getting sick is the last thing you want to think about. It’s one of the most un-fun topics out there! But let me tell you from personal experience going through breast cancer and Hashimoto’s – that having your medical files in order BEFORE you get sick is a life-saver. Getting your medical files in order WHEN you get sick is one more thing you have to worry about at a time when you don’t need extra worry. Do it now. Do it for yourself, your spouse, your kids, your parents. Take a couple hours one weekend and do it. Here’s how…
The Accordion File Folder
Everyone has their preference as to organizational styles for paperwork. I normally don’t use the accordion file folder, but in this case, it’s the most practical option. It opens at the top, it has sections separated out, and you don’t need a three-hole puncher if you were to use a binder. All you have to do is drop the paperwork in each section. Plus, it’s easy to carry to your appointments. Quick and easy!
What to Include
This information is good to keep permanently in your medical file, and also to have on hand for every doctor’s appointment:
1. Copy of insurance card.
2. Medical history with a list of all current and previous health issues and surgeries.
3. List of allergies, especially life-threatening, and other vital information, such if you have a pacemaker.
4. List of doctors, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
5. Pharmacy name, address, phone number.
6. List of all current medications – proper names and doses.
7. List of emergency contacts – spouse or relatives and their phone numbers.
8. All lab work and blood work paperwork.
9. Handouts from doctors.
10. Notebook or journal to take notes from your appointments.
11. Calendar to schedule next appointment
12. Book or magazine to read.
13. Several cards or notes from loved ones to wish you well (this one is more for those with a major illness)
14. It’s never a bad idea to have a copy of your living will, durable power of attorney for health care (DPA), do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, or other advance directives.
I am sure there are others, but these hit the top most important items to have on hand.
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Love, hugs, and one less thing to worry about.HERE.