If you’ve amassed many healthcare-related papers in your home, you are not alone. We all have insurance statements, prescriptions, and test results to keep track of. Staying on top of your ever-growing medical file may seem overwhelming, but it’s an important step in ensuring your proper care and future well-being are taken care of.
Having well-organized medical records can make it easier for you to access specific information in a time of need. And, in case of an emergency, your family members or doctors will benefit from having all your medical information in one place. Follow this helpful guide to successfully and efficiently organize your medical information at home.
Create a Doctor Directory
Start by making a list of all your health care providers, their specific roles, and their contact information. This step is crucial if you are a care provider for another person and need to keep track of their medical appointments and medications.
Keep These Records at the Ready
Records that are more than a year old can be packed up and kept safe in one place. But doctors recommend keeping the following documents easily accessible and on hand:
- Family history
- Doctor visits summaries and notes
- Personal health history (symptoms, surgeries, accidents, medications, hospitalizations)
- Hospital discharge summaries
- Prescription medication descriptions
- Recent test results
- Insurance forms related to recent treatments
- Living will
- Power of attorney
Pack These Records Up
Many medical records are important and could be needed in the future. But feel free to pack up the following documents in a place that you can quickly locate:
- Insurance statements and bills from the last three years
- Copies of tests and scan results
- Older test results
- A list of past health care providers
- Hospital discharge summaries older than a year
- Doctor summaries and notes from the previous few years
- Old medications information
What to Toss
After three years, it is most likely safe to toss old insurance statements and bills that have been paid. However, it’s best to keep the documents mentioned above, as they may prove helpful to have access to in the future.
Take Advantage of Technology
Online records are an easy and effective way to keep track of your medical documents. Many doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies offer online records that you can access. Taking advantage of this option eliminates paper clutter and allows you to keep records indefinitely.
Be sure, however, to have a clear log of all usernames and passwords, so you and your designated emergency contents can have easy access to needed information. You may also consider taking a few minutes each quarter to log on and print out any new medical records from your online profiles and storing them in your file.
Be Consistent With Your Record Keeping
After a big initial organizational task, make things easier on yourself by staying consistent with your record filing. File your paperwork after each time you see a doctor, get a new prescription, receive a bill, or undergo a test. Taking a few minutes to sort new documents can immensely help your medical record-keeping and eliminate the need for a long organization task in the future.
Tips for Easy Organizing
Organizing your insurance records by year can help you quickly access the exact information you need. All other medical papers can be divided into categories like doctor’s visits, scans, tests, and prescriptions. Some categories can have subgroups to reflect any tests or scans that you regularly repeat. This additional step will make it easy to compare past tests to new results. Always be sure that your files are up to date before seeing a new provider. And if you have any questions - UAB Medical West staff are always here to care for you and your needs.
UAB Medical West in Birmingham, Alabama, is Here For You
Get organized by staying on top of your health. Keeping your medical papers in order can be a crucial factor in cases of future emergencies. UAB Medical West understands how overwhelming it can be to get your medical history all in one place. Our medical staff is here to answer all of your questions and provide guidance, so don't hesitate to reach out. We are serving Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, and Vance. Contact us today!