How To Organize The Most Important Aspects Of Your Medical History
You don’t have to get too personal or specific to be extremely helpful.
There are sensitive medical records that are stored by your doctors, hospitals, and other institutions. Then there’s general health information that doesn’t reveal too much but still has value to your family and friends.
How you share this general medical history is up to you, but it’s nice to have it neatly organized in one place in case of an emergency.
While your complete medical history is in a database somewhere, you might have some medical records and not even realize it. Now it’s time to gather up these files and documents, put them all in the same spot, and let someone know where you keep them. Here are some examples to get you started:
- CD-ROM of MRI results
- Dental records
- Immunization record from when you went on that rain forest vacation
- Account and login info for online records (example: blood results from your primary care physician)
HIPAA Authorization Form
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA, was put in place to allow medical institutions to share a patient’s medical data while protecting their privacy.
When you fill out a HIPAA authorization form, which you may have done so your records can be shared among your providers, it allows those people access to those files. You can also do this so a person in your life, such as a family member or Health Care Proxy, can view them as well.
HIPAA Law and HIPAA Compliance are no joke: If anyone accesses or shares your medical records without your approval it can be considered a HIPAA violation, which can result in massive fines and possible criminal charges. Yes, it's that serious so don't be surprised if a doctor or medical professional won't share anything without a proper medical records release form.
There’s a story behind every medication. It’s usually not really interesting, it’s just helpful for your family to know:
- Name of Medication
- Medication Location
- Prescribing Doctor
- Pharmacy/Ordering Service Info (example: if it’s on auto-renew, how would you change or cancel it?)
- Additional Instructions
Some allergies are minor inconveniences, others might be life or death. This is the info you want to share with your family, and especially your Health Care Proxy, for all allergies:
- Type of Allergy
- Type and Location of Medication (If applicable. Example: location of EpiPen)
- Additional Instructions
The important people in your life most likely know any illnesses you manage on a day-to-day basis, but there are others that might need this information at some point. For example, a child could be completely unaware of a blood condition that runs in the family. Here’s a way to share the basics, and start a medical history discussion, without making things too uncomfortable.
- Type of Chronic or Major Illness
- Medication or Treatment (if applicable)
- Doctor/Medical Professional Contact Info
Medical Equipment & Devices
Do you have any medical equipment that would need to be returned at some point? Let your family know, otherwise they could receive a huge bill from an insurance or supply company over a really expensive bed, or piece of physical therapy equipment, that’s gathering dust in the spare room. Here’s the info to get in order:
- Type of Device
- Equipment Provider’s Info (if applicable)
- Additional Information (example: this bed needs to be shipped back the moment I’m finished using it or else we will be charged.)
Keep Your Plan Up-To-Date: Make sure all of the stuff listed above is neatly organized, updated, and shared in the “Health & Medical” section of your Everplan.
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