Right now, we’re all living under the threat of COVID-19.
It’s always important to have a medical plan in case you are in an emergency or need assistance, but it’s especially crucial during a pandemic.
There are so many documents in our lives that we need to keep in order. Tax documents, bills, and medical records often end up in forgotten drawers and aren’t that easy to access when you need them the most.
When it comes to medical records, having everything together in one file can prove extremely valuable.
Your doctors will be able to care for you much more effectively if they know as much as possible about your health history.
For your own safety and peace of mind, it’s a good idea to get those records organized and keep them in a specific place. Here’s how to get that process started.
What Medical Records Should You Organize?
Which medical records actually matter? In healthcare, it can be difficult to know what information is relevant.
Weight gain, for example, could indicate that you’re simply consuming more calories than you burn. But it could also indicate a different issue, such as a hormone imbalance.
This is why it’s important to collect as many records as you can: so you can provide a comprehensive picture of your overall health.
Any and all information about your health history could be important for your healthcare providers to have.
You should also include a family health history if you can. Immediate family is the most important for this purpose, as these family members are the most likely to have relevant health conditions.
You should also collect all of your doctor and hospital summaries, test results, medication lists, and a complete health history of known and past conditions, surgeries, allergies, hospitalizations, etc.
Finally, you should gather up any administrative paperwork. This might include a will, power of attorney, and your insurance information.
Getting your records organized is an easy thing to put off and can feel tedious, but you’ll be very glad you took the time if you ever need your records in a hurry.
Benefits of Electronic Health Records
These days, nearly all healthcare providers are using electronic health records (EHRs) to keep patient data organized. This is a fantastic tool that is effortlessly keeping patients’ health data organized and current.
One of the other benefits of EHRs is transparency. Many doctors have patient portals available, allowing you to access your test results, email your physician, and look back on your comprehensive health history.
Another advantage of EHRs is that the records can be shared between members of your healthcare team, allowing them to find connections, patterns, and potential interactions.
Clearly, there are huge benefits to using EHRs. Since widespread EHR adoption is very recent, however, most people will not have all of their health history updated in their digital files, which is why it’s important to gather all of your hard copies as well.
Organized Records Will Allow for Easier Medical Assistance
The field of healthcare is experiencing huge shifts, thanks to new technology that is enabling EHRs, AI for diagnostics, personalized medicine, telehealth, and healthcare robots.
These changes have been amplified by the pandemic, which has increased the demand for telehealth services.
Having all of your records together will make it easier for your healthcare team to help you get and stay healthy.
This is especially important in an emergency situation, as time might be critical.
You will have access to better care and more personalized treatment the more information you can provide. It’s as simple as that!
Tips for Organizing Medical Records
So, now that you know which records are important and why you should get organized in the first place, what’s the best way to do it?
You should choose a system that will be easy for you to update and use.
You might feel more comfortable keeping that information in an old-fashioned binder, for instance, or you might want to compile all of the information into a folder on your computer. There are even encrypted online tools you can use if you prefer.
Regardless of the system you use, it’s important to keep a backup of your records.
Something could easily happen to your information, making it difficult to access when you need it the most.
Remember, organizing your medical records is an investment in your future!