Do you know if you’re up-to-date on your immunizations, or have the results of your last blood test? Important personal facts about your health shouldn’t be shrouded in mystery. Even if you’ve never saved your health or medical documents, it’s not too late to start putting together a personal health record of your own. We’ll show you how to create this invaluable reference tool to help you keep track of all your health-related matters.
Gather the essentials
Start by collecting all your important health documents on hand, documenting what you know, or requesting a copy of records from your health professional. Not sure what to include? Here’s a list of important information to keep in your records, as recommended by the American Health Information Management Association:
- Personal identification, including name and birth date
- People to contact in case of emergency
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of your physician, dentist, and specialists
- Health insurance information
- Living wills, advance directives, or medical power of attorney
- Organ donor authorization
- A list and dates of significant illnesses and surgical procedures
- Current medications and dosages
- Immunizations and their dates
- Allergies or sensitivities to drugs or materials, such as latex
- Important events, dates, and hereditary conditions in your family history
- Results from a recent physical examination
- Opinions of specialists
- Important tests results; eye and dental records
- Correspondence between you and your provider(s)
- Current educational materials (or appropriate web links) relating to your health
- Any information you want to include about your health—such as your exercise regimen, any herbal medications you take and any counseling you may receive
Record keeping for life
As you gather all your important paperwork, you’ll want to keep them safe. Rather than storing loose documents in a box or throwing them in a file, consider keeping them organized in a strong and durable binder such as the Avery Heavy-Duty Binder. A binder makes it easy to store all your important health documents in one place. It’s portable, so you can carry it with you to your next doctor’s appointment if you need to. And when you place your documents inside as you get them, it will automatically organize them in chronological order, with the most recent item on top. As you collect your information, make it easy to organize the contents inside for quick and easy reference. Create customized dividers in a snap with Avery Durable Ready Index Dividers and free Avery Templates to help keep your stuff in order.
There’s a lot of information to capture, and it probably won’t all be collected overnight. But over time, as you continue to keep track of your health documents in your binder, your records will grow and you’ll have your health history available at your fingertips.