ORGANIZE YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION MONTH
Organize Your Medical Information Month is an annual designation observed in October. Keeping all of your medical information de-cluttered and safe is important whether you have a complicated medical history or not. That way, if you do happen to get sick or diagnosed with a disease like cancer, having your records safe and categorized means your doctors can examine them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Basically, having a system for your medical information is good for the future of your health! The founder of Organize Your Medical Information Month, Lynda Shrager, has a few pieces of advice for you about how to get started.
- Start a healthcare notebook. Shrager says the words she lives by are, “Compile it and File it.” Write down hospitals you’ve been to, doctors you’ve seen there, and what the reason was for being there.
- Dig out your childrens’ baby books and categorize all the important information you can find from birth to present.
- Do the same for yourself, your spouse, your parents, and anyone else who’s health you find yourself managing.
- Keep post-it notes handy so whenever you need to remember something, you can jot it down so you don’t forget to add it to your healthcare notebook later.
- Designate a safe spot in the house where all your records are kept.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Make sure your medical information and paperwork is all in one place so it can be easily found if needed. Use #OrganizeYourMedicalInformationMonth to post on social media. So, how do you know what’s important and what should be tossed out? Here’s what you should keep:
- Contact information of all doctors and specialists that have been involved in your care
- Copies of diagnostic tests and pathology reports
- Anything you’ve ever been diagnosed with
- Medications you’ve been prescribed
- Details of family medical history
- Dates of appointments
- Copies of medical bills and insurance claims
On July 12, 1994, Lynda Shrager’s life changed forever. She was diagnosed with cancer. Three hours before she got that phone call, her 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. She says this is when she started compartmentalizing her life. Being able to organize and keep all of their medical information at the ready was a great tool, as well as therapeutic for Shrager. She now has a blog in which she helps people cope and manage life with a chronic illness.