Medical Records

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damgalnuna
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 8/4/2010 5:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone keep a personal copy of their medical records? I've been considering doing this due to a complicated medical history. My history for back problems spans 18 years and many different doctors. I have requested copies of records from several doctors and hospitals, and I have most in hand now. How do you organize your records? I know I could scan them and keep them on the computer, but I was thinking of keeping it in a way that was more searchable, such as a database or something like that. Any advice?

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4645
   Posted 8/4/2010 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Absolutely I keep copies of all my records! I keep them on paper in file folders by body part and some types of tests, like blood tests, so I don't have too much in one folder and can find them easily. I get copies of all my MRIs, CTs, anything that can go on a disk.

I make copies of anything pertinent, including the disks, for other doctors that I see at a later date.

I also keep a journal of all my medications, complications, etc. That's how I manage to take my meds on time and keep track of what meds not to try again. I keep on my computer a list of all meds to which I have had bad reactions. (a whole typed page)

Yes, you can scan in and save everything and put it in a database if you have nothing better to do with your time. You'll still have to print stuff out for your doc visits because they don't generally look at much that's not on paper. So I don't bother with that.

Docs generally only listen to the first question asked and the first condition to which you are having a problem at the moment, so don't expect them to read your entire report, especially if it's on a disk or jump drive. They may want to compare an MRI with a slightly older one, but usually don't want the entire history, but it's good for you to have everything yourself.
Alcie
 
 

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 8/4/2010 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   

 

  Dear Damga,

   Have you ever thought about a USB Jewelry? "Special Heart" is a more popular one (can google it I think), but there are many to be found. Might be an idea, since you have so much medical history you might just want to keep it with you at all times. As well as on your personal computer.

    I have noticed my doctors like to keep my history brief and send most up dated tests and images when sending me to someone new. Perhaps keep brief history and most recent testing / images on you with USB jewelry. Keep the full records at home? Also, might want to back it up on with a service or or drive in Full. Just in case something happens to your personal computer.

*hugg*
  dani


 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
 
Chronic Pain Moderator

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4645
   Posted 8/4/2010 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
The USB jewelry or just a SanDisk is a good idea because they're small. I've been checking out some of the types too. Some of the jewelry has to be filled in item by item though, so you have to investigate before buying.

I have found keeping paper in a plastic pillow case package in my purse has been handy for emergencies. I also keep a credit card-size yellow card in a prominent place in my wallet with my allergies, medications and important facts like location of cardiac stents.

I give my doctors printed copies of blood work and such at visits because they all have paper charts, although some are starting to switch to all digital. I find the digital info kept by the local hospital groups is horribly inaccurate. When I am asked about changes in meds, for example, I always have to make changes. Also they have no way of differentiating an intolerance from an allergy.
Alcie
 
 

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/4/2010 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Damgalnuna,
I've done my best to keep a copy of all my records, but I have them mostly on paper. I started out keeping them organized, but over the years they mostly went into stacks - and not in any order. When I filed for SSD, I wanted to hand them copies of my records (I had made extra copies of most of the older ones before I left work, when I had a copier available, but now I have to go to my cousin's and use her printer to copy, which is really slow but free!) so it forced me to start some half way decent organizing. Guess I'm old-fashioned, but I started putting them in folders by each doctor, and then separate folders for blood work, etc. For me, I find this easier because I can pull out what I think will be the most pertinent info. to take to a new doctor, so as to not overwhelm them. I tend to take summaries, etc., test results. But however we store them I think it's important for us to keep copies of our records because I find that frequently they don't make it to a new doctor's office, or to other places they are needed. That's why I brought all the ones I had to SSD.

I do think it gets overwhelming, to say the least, as most of us see so many doctors, have so many tests, etc. But if we're not our own best advocate no one else is going to do the job.

Also, whenever I start with a new doctor, I ask to sign a release form so copies of records can be sent to me. Most doctors will do that at little or no cost, especially the ones I'm currently an active patient with. Past doctors are another story, but if you put "continuation of care" as the reason you're seeking a copy, they often won't charge because it's saying you're taking them to other doctors. A few places have given me a hassle, and in a few cases I've had to pay, but mostly I've been able to get them at no cost.

PaLady

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/5/2010 2:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi PALady,
 
This is great advice on the "continuation of care".  I have been charged a couple of times too and I'll be using this one next time to make sure I have what I need.  I'm actually going to pick up some copies today.  I noticed that the Dr's don't mind if you get a copy or two at a time, but will charge up to 1.00 per page if you want the whole file.
Retired Mom

caligirl2001
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 8/6/2010 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I have the last 5 years of my records from my primary care doctor, and I am starting to request copies of everything as I go. Especially now that I'm dealing with so much pain. I want to know what is being written about me.
Fibromyalgia, High BP, Migraines, anxiety, Non Celiac Gluten Intolerant
Current medications: Topamax, Maxalt, Lotrel, Wellbutrin
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