Digging into part two of our focus this month on INFORMATION.
Let’s look at gathering information (in the form of medical records) from your practitioner.
Why would you want to do this? To be prepared for anything and know that you will always have a complete and accurate accounting of your personal medical history. By doing this, you can be the best advocate for yourself.
Here are a few scenarios when you would need your records on hand or right away:
- Physical move
- Change of insurance
- Doctor retires or is unavailable
- Support staff issues at your practitioner’s office
- Doctor referral to a specialist
- Personal illness or injury
Preparing as you go not only benefits you but also your family and friends as well. Preparing will help mitigate the stress of any situations listed above.
Now, I am not a doomsday-type person, but I do believe in being prepared. Even in the worst-case scenario, all your records and history are immediately available. In your best-case scenario, you are well organized and can produce documents, lab results, etc. to anyone who may need them. Win-win!
Here are a few tips to help you obtain your records. How you store them is your choice (paper files, digital files, both, etc.).
If you are starting from scratch, ask for whatever form your doctor uses at the office to request labs, images, etc. Fill it out, and then follow up consistently until you have everything.
If you are already gathering information and records as you go, congratulations! Keep up the good work!
Consider this a form of self-care. By being organized, you take away the stress of having to scramble to track down documents in a pinch.