It is Ralph Waldo Emerson that said that “The first wealth is health.” A part of being healthy is visiting a healthcare professional from time to time, and that means paperwork. As you get older, and if you have a family too, hard copy medical charts may seem like a bunch of clutter.
If you must go to the emergency room or if you are sick while traveling on vacation, it is smart to keep hard copies of your medical records for easy access. You want to quickly and accurately explain your medical history to a medical professional providing you care.
An organized medical chart with colored divider tabs may be just what the doctor ordered. Here are the top tips for organizing your medical chart.
1. Locate Medical Records and Compile Them
Before you organize, gather as many documents as you can so that you can create a complete picture. You can start with your current doctor. Make a request from the doctor’s office for copies of your medical record.
If you have access to contact information for previous healthcare providers, request copies from them as well. In the event you cannot reach out to previous providers, you can complete a medical release form from your current physician and request records that way.
2. Create a Timeline of Your Health
How you organize your information depends on the specifics of your medical history. You will want to organize your details by chronology, category, or both.
For serious diseases, a chronological history will show the progression of your health conditions and your treatments. Providing a lot of detail will help with determining future treatment.
A medical timeline can include:
- Prior doctor’s visits
- A list of allergies
- A list of drug sensitivities
- Family health history
- Immunization records
- Cancer screenings
- Test or procedure results
Medical chart divider tabs can help you properly label each part of the timeline so that you can find information faster. The important thing is to have a complete medical chart so that a healthcare provider is not missing important details, helping them to advise you better.
3. Current Medications and Supplements
It is good when you are talking to a healthcare provider to have a list of all your current medications. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter.
For each current medication, you want to include:
- The dosage
- The date you began taking it
- The condition it treats
- Any side effects you experience
Your doctor will want all these details to better decide to keep you on the same medication or if it is better to switch to a different one.
4. EOBs, Insurance, and Bills
While it may seem tedious, you want to have your EOBs or explanation of benefits, should you need to dispute a bill. Keep your EOBs in your medical chart, with divider tabs, to access them along with a paid bill.
5. Important Contacts
Especially in case of an emergency, a paramedic will want your key medical details and an organized medical chart will help. You should have a list of your healthcare providers, including their names and contact information.
Also, have two emergency contacts besides your health insurance information. Colored divider tabs can make it easy and fast to identify a healthcare provider helping you during an emergency.
Organize Your Medical Charts
We hope this article is helpful so that you can now create organized medical charts with your complete records, including a timeline, list of medications, EOBs, bills, and important contacts. During an emergency, it will help tremendously.
For more life-saving advice on your health or to keep things simple, visit us again soon for new articles.