Organizing For A Medical Emergency: Your Personal Health Record | Organizing Made Fun: Organizing For A Medical Emergency: Your Personal Health Record

Friday, February 3, 2017

Organizing For A Medical Emergency: Your Personal Health Record

If you have ever had to go to an emergency room you know it can be quite stressful.  When I worked as a patient advocate in a local emergency room I got to see all sorts of personalities in all kinds of emergency situations and I’ve learned a few things that can help you be a little more organized for your next medical emergency.  Creating a personal health record for yourself and your family is the single most helpful thing you can do to be prepared for a visit to the ER.   

There is nothing more stressful than getting to the ER while applying pressure to your child's bleeding boo boo, your child  in tears and then you realize you don’t even have what you need to get registered! Being prepared will help you to focus on comforting your family member rather than fretting in the heat of the moment.     

Before we get into the Emergency Preparations I wanted to be sure you haven’t missed any of this month’s organization posts.  

Now, when you go to an Emergency Room (or even if you have called for an ambulance) you will need to have all the information about the patient, their current symptoms, and their medical insurance first of all.  Once registered you will need to have their medical history and medications ready to give to the person doing the triage.   In order to have everything ready you will want to assemble the information in one place now before you find yourself in an emergency situation.  I think the notebook or an electronic notebook is the perfect way to keep this information handy at a moment’s notice.  

My family is healthy and still young so my record is very simple and contained in my evernote app on my phone for easy reference.  In the past I have kept the information in a three ring binder with dividers for each family member.   

The binder method is extremely helpful if you are the main caregiver of an elderly or sick person.  When I helped care for an elderly family member we created a binder that would stay at her home and each member of the family would take it with them to various doctor’s appointments and visits in order to take notes and keep track of the latest information and it also served as a means of communication for each of the members of her care team.  

The basic information you will need to assemble and have ready for an emergency are as follows.

  1. Copies of Patient’s ID (or Parent ID)

  2. Copy of Patient’s Insurance Card (front and back)

  3. A copy of any legal documents regarding medical power of attorney and/or any advance directive paperwork.  If you have these items you will know what they are and if you do not have these then you need to take some time to do a little research and talk these over with your family in advance.  If you do have either of these you probably have them filed away in a safe somewhere.  I suggest that you make a few copies and place one in your Personal Health Record binder so that you know where to find it right away.  They Emergency Room and hospital staff will want copies of these for your records and you will be very stressed if you have to go home and find them.  

  4. A Document including
  • the patient’s legal name
  • date of birth
  • social security number
  • A list of allergies
  • Patent’s Primary Care Physician information
  • Preferred Pharmacy Information

  1. A list of all current regular medications and dosages.
This list should be updated every time you have a change in medication or dosage so that it is as accurate as possible.  If the patent is taking a lot of medications then I would suggest that you have a record of when each medication was taken as well.  It is wise to include any supplements, and herbal medicine that you typically take as well.

  1. A list of any ongoing diseases or treatments
Is the patent being treated for diabetes, cancer or some other disease?  You should include recent lab results and a list of the medications being used to treat their disease in your Record as well.  

  1. A list of all surgeries or procedures and the dates they were performed.
Doctors almost always want to know what surgeries you’ve had and when.  It is much easier to have them written down so that you don’t have to recall them all when you or your loved one are not feeling well.  

If you take a little time to assemble these things now you will be so thankful that you did when an emergency happens.  You may think you won’t need it because you know all the information but you never know when the notebook will come in handy.  Once I was away visiting a friend when my daughter broker her arm.  Since my husband rarely needs to handle the medical things he didn’t even know the name of our daughter’s pediatrician.  Thankfully he could grab the medical binder off the shelf and he had everything he needed to make their ER visit smooth.   Do you have a personal health record?  I’d love to hear about how you prepare for an emergency.  

Keeping up with all those doctor appointments and family activities is a snap with the Cozi app! 

You can see what everyone in your whole family is up to in a beautiful color coded calendar plus you'll never forget that grocery list again because its on your phone! 

Hear how Alejandra went from being overwhelmed to being peaceful with less in this brand new video introducing her simpLESSity decluttering program.  You will be so encouraged by her story!  

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