Organize Your Medical History and Get the Treatment You Deserve
(ARA) - It’s a fact of life that medicine is becoming more and more specialized. That means that you and your loved ones probably see a wider variety of doctors than ever before. Family doctors once knew everything about their patients and provided a continuum of care from colds to immunizations to the most serious of medical conditions. Today however, because we see more doctors and specialists, our medical histories tend to be scattered and incomplete.
By organizing the many pieces of information that make up your or your loved one’s medical history, you will give your healthcare providers a more complete picture and save precious time in recognizing symptoms and diagnosing conditions accurately. When you visit a doctor, either in the office or in the emergency room, there are several things you can do ahead of time to make the visit more effective.
First of all, make sure you have the information that your doctor needs. Here are some things doctors need to know in order to understand your situation as clearly as possible: * Medications: You should have an easily readable list of all medications you are currently taking, as well any medications you recently stopped taking. Medication information should include not only prescriptions but also over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements and vitamins.
* Conditions and illnesses: Tell your doctor about any currently active condition or illness, such as diabetes, heart disease, mini-strokes (TIAs), HIV, etc. * Things that “run in the family:” You should know your family’s medical history well enough to tell your doctor about anything that runs in your family. For deceased members of your family, it helps to know the cause of death as well as the age at which the person died. Generally, information going back two generations is sufficient. This will include siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great aunts and uncles.
Second, write down any questions you have for your doctor. List your questions in order of importance. Remember, you may have limited time to visit with the doctor and the most important questions should be asked and answered first. Having them written down will keep you on track. Finally, write down what your doctor tells you. If possible, have someone with you to take notes while you talk to the doctor. If no one is available, take notes yourself during your visit or write a recap of what your doctor said as soon as possible after the visit. It’s often easy to forget some of the things your doctor says and writing it down will make sure that you don’t forget.
The more prepared you are for your visit, the more helpful and effective it will be. Compiling medical history information can be a tall order. However you can begin this process by talking to family members, doctors and pharmacists. Keep all the information you gather in one location. A combination of folders, charts, card holders, etc. will sometimes do the trick, but a more effectively way to organize is to utilize a product like the SO TELL ME… medical information organizer.
A journal-based system, the organizer has 15 tabs and 20 different forms to help you keep track of future and past appointments, medications, consultation notes, tests, family history and more in a convenient three-ring binder. The organizer was developed by an attorney who needed a tool to help her organize first her father’s, and then her mother’s complicated medical conditions. “Keeping track of my dad’s medications, telling doctors what other doctors had said or done, and answering questions over and over for specialists and ER doctors was extremely stressful, especially while working full time,” said Denise Pozen, developer of the SO TELL ME… organizer. “Now I’m facing the same situation with my mother, which is what led me to develop this organizer. Her regular doctors love it, and so do the ER doctors and nurses.
Whatever information they need, I have at my fingertips.” Organizing medical history information is important for people of all ages. Customer feedback has led to the creation of five different versions of the SO TELL ME… organizer – Adult, Senior, Pediatric, Couple and Family. Three styles of binder options are also available – easy to open, zipper, and zipper with a handle. For more information or to place an order, contact Pozen Services Inc. at (888) TELLME2 (835-5632) or visit www.sotellmeorganizer.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content