It is a good idea for you to keep your medical information in a personal file. People tend to change physicians more frequently as jobs and insurances change. You may choose to enter medical or dental information in a laptop, or keep hard copies in a notebook or binder. Dating all of your entries will make for more useful records. And as with any important information, if you save it to a computer, be sure to have a backup file. This information will be especially helpful when a new caregiver is involved. As a starting point, you’ll want to keep track of the following:
- Results of various tests
- A listing of allergies
- A listing of medications and dosages
- Names and phone numbers of your medical and dental care team
- Health information, hospital phone number, social security number, and insurance information
- Records of what was discussed during a medical visit/phone conversation and by whom
- Notation of changing symptoms
- Copies of your medical records.
You are legally entitled to copies of your records from doctors or dentists, but you’ll need to follow the organization’s policy for requesting them. Frequently, there’s a charge for these copies. But by keeping all records in one place, you can easily share these with other health care providers that you may see in the future.
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