Having a medically needy person at home can present many challenges. It can be frustrating at a hospital or doctors visit to try to remember every detail of their history. Keeping a medical file handy is the easiest way to have the information at your fingertips.
Things You’ll Need:
3 ring binder
Copies of MSDS sheets for each medication the patient is on
Dosages of each medication
Dates of surgeries and hospitalizations
List of all doctors the patient sees and their phone and addresses
Protective sheets to preserve the pages in your notebook
On the first page of your three ring binder Write down the following:
Patients full name
Patients date of birth
Patients city and state of birth
Patients medical insurance (you could photo copy their insurance card and put in here)
Patients address and phone number
Include a recent photo of the patient. Some doctors want a routine photo. It helps them to see progress or regression of a patient.
List all medications and when and how they are administered on the next page. Make sure to list exact dosages and update this page as necessary.
Include any pages instructing the patient on the medications and/or MSDS sheets for each medication. Highlight specific dosages and specific instructions that may vary from the normal routine of things.
List all hospitalizations and surgeries (no matter how minor). List where the procedure/hospitalization was at (which hospital not where on the body the various surgeries were done) and any other pertinent information.
If the patient has undergone a chemotherapy protocol your doctor will provide you with information on the various drugs administered. Make sure to keep this information in the file. Other medical personnel like to know this information in order to know what side effects might be presenting themselves at a later time in life.
Keep a copy of the patients shot records in this file. If the doctor needs to know when the last tetanus shot was you will have that information available.
Keep an updated page of all the doctors your family member sees and for what. Make sure each doctors address and phone number are available and up to date. You may even go one step further and notate when the last visit was to each doctor.
Don’t forget to add today’s visit in in your file. Date it and notate any tests that were conducted and when you get results go back and fill in the results also.
Keep some extra sheets of paper and a pen handy for note taking and writing down instructions if the doctor gives you any during today’s visit.
Keeping this notebook up to date will be really easy once you have taken the time to set it up. Keep your notebook handy near the door if you frequently have to rush to the hospital so that you can grab it easily on your way out of the door. Keeping a notebook like this handy has saved me hours of phone calls to gather required medical information for a doctors appointment or emergency room visit. If I am given a doctors appointment on a business card I also add the business card to the file after I have written the appointment down on my calendar.
In time updating this notebook will become a habit and you won’t know what you ever did without it.