October is “Organize Your Medical Information Month.” This month is dedicated to learning how to acquire, understand, utilize and store pertinent medical information for your own medical care.
In today’s complicated health care world, you must take greater responsibility for your health issues. You have to choose health insurance plans, doctors and hospitals, accurately monitor your own symptoms, and manage medications.
If you haven’t started already, start a health care notebook. Have a section or separate notebook for your spouse, children, and any other relatives that live in your home. Having up-to-date and accurate information could save your life or the life of a loved one.
Items to include in a health care notebook are:
- ICE contact. (In Case of Emergency). Name and phone number of one or two people who can provide information on your health. Put this information in your wallet and phone as well.
- Conditions or illnesses you have been diagnosed with in the past or currently have.
- Medications, including herbal supplements and vitamins. Be sure to include dosage amount and frequency of use.
- Doctor names and phone numbers. Include a note for each doctor such as primary care physician, cardiologist, or dermatologist.
- Family history such as cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
- Age of siblings and parents. Note year of death and reason for death.
- Copy of will, living will, and power of attorney.
- List of current insurance policies including agent contact information.
Designate one place in the house where the notebook(s) will be kept. Make sure every family member knows the placement of the notebook.