Throughout the year, many medical issues can arise, resulting in visits to the doctor's office or even a hospital stay. Sometimes it is a routine visit for preventative care. Other times, it is because of an illness. Whatever the reason for the visit, an organized set of medical information will help you receive the best care possible.
Not only is it important for you to know what care you have received, it is also important that all your physicians and specialists are aware of treatment you are receiving elsewhere. Below are some guidelines to help you organize your medical records.
Create a Binder or File
Create a filing system for your medical information based upon volume and preferences. You can have one file or binder for the entire family, or you may want one file or binder per family member.
BINDER SYSTEM: Purchase a binder large enough for the family, or have one for each family member. Use dividers to separate into medical visits, insurance, testing and prescription sections. If you have only one binder, have these four sections for each family member. You will have to hole punch all your paperwork with this method. Place your papers in the binder in chronological (or reverse) order. Be consistent.
FILE SYSTEM: Delegate a section in your file cabinet for each family member, or purchase a file box for each person. Then create individual folders for doctor visits, prescriptions, lab tests and insurance. You can further divide into smaller categories such as a folder for each doctor or each hospital stay if necessary. Be consistent in how you add papers into each folder. Either put them in front for reverse chronological order, or in the back for straight chronological order.