Did you know that without an accurate health history it can be difficult to receive the best medical care possible? Maintaining your health history throughout your life helps doctors and nurses keep you healthy, manage chronic conditions, and get you treatment faster than without having accurate and updated information.
Figuring out where to start can be the most difficult part of tracking your medical history, so we put together four simple tips for getting your health history in order.
Every time you visit your doctor, complete a variety of tests or visit a facility you should be requesting copies of your records. Patients are entitled to copies of their physician’s notes, lab and test results, along with any other notes from other physicians.
You may be asked to sign a release form in order to receive these records but attaining them is the first step for establishing an accurate health history.
Now that you are keeping copies of your records you will need someplace to put them. It is useful to use a 3-ring binder to keep your documents organized, however, technology is making it much easier to document your records.
Programs like Evernote or Microsoft OneNote offer powerful storage solutions that are quick and painless. Simply take a picture of your records, or scan them, then drop them into the program for easy access.
Bonus Tip: Keep a journal with detailed health information. This might include your emotions and moods, allergic reactions, sleep patterns, nutrition or anything else relevant to your overall health.
Develop the habit of keeping your medical bills for at least 5 years, however, keeping them for 7 is even better.
Issues with reimbursement or IRS tax filings may require you to supply documentation and keeping your bills together with your medical history will be extremely helpful in case these situations arise.
This doesn’t mean to get rid of your records entirely. Remember having an updated medical history is something that will benefit you for your lifetime. Here, we are specifically talking about billing statements.
Now that you have started the process of recording your personal health history you should repeat the steps for other members of your household. Keeping your records organized and separated for each family member will create easy access to your entire family health history.
These are just a few quick tips for getting your health history in order.
We hope that you take the time to get organized. When the time comes that you need it, you will be glad to have it.