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Tips for Organizing a Medical History
By Kathy Porter
Any special logs such as blood pressure
readings, blood sugar levels or symptoms
A copy of a health care proxy, advanced
directives or living will
- A power-of-attorney, if one is used
Our system has to be easy to update because,
like most caregivers, my family is stretched
pretty thin. Here are some tips for collecting
and organizing information:
Use a pocket folder or small three-ring binder that
will hold several pages. We purchased a multi-page
presentation folder with clear pockets from an
office supply store.
Use a bold color for the cover, such as red or
yellow, so that it is easy to distinguish from other
Keep the folder in a handy location, such as a desk
drawer near the entry.
Make sure every potential
caregiver knows where it is kept.
Label the front boldly and clearly Ė EMERGENCY
Use top loading, clear sheet protectors to hold
papers. These make it easy to remove papers for
photocopying or for handing to a healthcare worker.
Pick up a business card from each healthcare
provider you see. Cards usually contain the name,
specialty, address, phone and fax number.
- Slip the business cards into vinyl page protectors
meant to hold photos, baseball cards or disks. You
can find three-ring page protectors like these at
craft, hobby, or office supply stores.
Each time you make an appointment, take the reminder
card or jot the appointment details on a 3X5 card.
Slip these cards into a page protector just as you
did the business cards.
Keep old appointment cards if you donít want to take
the trouble of recording visit details elsewhere.
When you add any information to a document, put the
date at the top of the page to show how current the
List an out-of-state emergency contact to be used in
case of a widespread disaster.
- Photocopy important pages and cards and keep them
elsewhere for extra protection.
Search the Internet. Many Web sites provide blank
forms for medical history, medication and other