Why Organizing Your Medical Info Is Important
In an emergency, there’s no time to gather or sort through mountains of medical info. Depending on the severity of the incident and level of shock you may also lack the mental wherewithal to remember simple yet vital pieces of information.
That’s why it’s important to get organized ahead of time.
Do you know what paperwork and general information you need to have on hand to get the best, most accurate medical care? Use this list to help you create an easy-to-access list of organized medical info.
Start by organizing the info you have and tracking down additional bits you’ll need.
What to collect:
- Benefits: Employment and social security.
- Policies: Insurance and health care.
- Records: Complete health and financial.
- Directives: Medical, financial directive, guardianship.
- Will and living trust.
You’ll also want to keep a detailed list of the following.
Medical records and health information:
- Contact information of your primary care physician and other members of your health care team.
- List of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, including vitamins and supplements.
- Detailed medical treatment history that includes dates hospitalized, illnesses diagnosed, and family history.
- Emergency contacts.
- List of known allergies.
- Immunization records.
- Cancer screenings.
List of Instructions
Should you or someone you love get hospitalized for a long period of time or become otherwise incapacitated, a thorough list of instruction is immensely helpful. It helps keep your home and finances on track and addresses seemingly mundane, everyday occurrences that make up your life. This list will honor your wishes when it comes to things like your home and family all the way up to legal and financial matters.
The following should only be revealed to someone you trust to care for your household in the event of an emergency:
- Banking and other financial information.
- List of monthly bills and utilities.
- Credit card information and PIN numbers.
- Usernames and passwords to your online accounts.
- Combination numbers to your personal safe.
- Keys to your safety deposit box or filing cabinet.
Don’t feel pressured to complete the task all in one day. If you need more time, take it and don’t hesitate to reach out for help from loved ones.
When it comes to organization, there’s no “wrong” way to do it. Folders, boxes, binders, and filing cabinets all work just as great as digital records. Whether you’re a fan of digitizing your medical info or keeping it analog, the important thing is that they’re intuitive enough for an outside party to sift though.
It’s also critical to ensure the information is secure. Lock it up however you can, just keep the key or password accessible.
You can even enlist the help of organizations that offer useful tools designed to organize important info. Visit sites like Cancer.Net for apps and online tools to help collect and protect your records.
In the end, taking a week or even just an afternoon to organize your medical records can save you a lot of anguish and is essential for the well being of your whole family.