Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Works for me: Medical records

It's been a very long time since I've found something to share on Works for me Wednesday - so long that I forgot how to do the linky and put my information in correctly! (Look for #81 - the one with no title!)  But I am back with something that does work:  my medical record sheet for doctor visits.  

This is one of those ideas that seems so simple I'm surprised more people don't do it.  But judging from the reactions I get from doctors and their assistants, people don't.  And I've been seeing a lot of doctors lately with one of my kids, so it's gotten a lot of use.

Every time we have a doctor's visit, whether for a well-child checkup or a problem, I take a medical record sheet to hand to the doctor or assistant.  They love it!  It has all the information they need without having to go through a question-and-answer process with me or the child.  Here's what it contains:

Child's name and date of birth.  Every time we go to the doctor they ask for DoB.  I was answering that question for one of my kids so many times that once when asked for mine, I gave my 14-year-old's! I got quite the look when I said "1997."

Current medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter meds, supplements and even "therapeutic" foods such as probiotic yogurt and raw local honey.  When one of my kids was seeing a few different doctors for gastrointestinal problems, I got tired of being asked if he ate yogurt. With the information at hand, the docs don't have to ask anymore.

Recent previous medications prescribed or suggested by a doctor that we've discontinued for whatever reason.  One of my kids was seeing a specialist last fall for gastrointestinal issues, so I listed the antibiotics he'd taken over the past year as I suspect they may have been contributing to his sickness.  One doctor had prescribed something for nausea that made the kid dizzy; we stopped using it but I kept it on the list for future reference. 

Current symptoms - why we are in the office that day.  The doctor quickly scans this and then asks more questions, but it gets us beyond the basics quickly.

Previous illnesses that I think might be relevant to the current problem.  I keep these records in a file on my computer, so I can update as necessary and easily copy/paste information for each doctor's visit right before we go.  I don't go all the way back on this: I wouldn't list my 45-year-old tonsillectomy on my records sheet.  We want to keep this to one page!

To help with keeping it short, use bullet points, not chatty sentences.  It's very easy for the nurse to review when she updates the medication record, and for the doctor to scan to review symptoms.

This has streamlined our doctor visits and helped me keep track of everything I want to tell them.  Our doctors love ii!  It works for us and for me!

Get more ideas that work on Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I love it, Margaret!