Health Records: Ways to Safeguard Your Family’s Health
Health—As moms, we’re often the primary caregivers for those around us – including our children, husbands, and sometimes our relatives. This can be difficult to balance with a busy schedule and as guidelines for the frequency of tests, immunizations, and procedures change. Moving and switching providers definitely makes it more challenging. Keeping good records and knowing your family members’ medical history is essential to helping your doctors provide the best care possible.
Simple Steps to Maintain Health Records
Here’s a list of the simple steps you can take to make sure you’re doing all you can to safeguard your family’s health:
- Know your family medical history. Ask your parents and your in-laws about their medical histories (including illnesses and surgeries) and keep good records.
- Familiarize yourself with the recommended immunization schedules before taking your child for a checkup. The CDC has a list here for children aged 0 through 6 years, and one here for children aged 7 through 18 years.
- Keep a list of family members’ allergies, immunizations, dietary supplements, and medications (with dosage, frequency, and prescription numbers) as part of medical records.
- Store the pharmacy prescription insert for future reference.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask the doctor and write them down before you leave for the appointment. This makes it much easier to get all the information you need during your visit, especially if you are trying to comfort a fussy child.
- Be sure to take good notes during and immediately after your doctor visit. Keeping things straight can often be difficult when you’re stressed or ill and the doctor is providing a great deal of information. Writing good notes and adding them to your family member’s medical records allows you to refer to the information later, when you might not be able to remember as clearly.
- Keep track of your medical records and make sure they include emergency contacts and insurance details as well.
- Make sure other family members have easy access to your records.
Of all the paper and information that enters your life, health records are among the most important. Maintaining this information is essential to ensuring the quality of your family’s healthcare.
Organizing and maintaining your family's health records ensures quality of your family's healthcare. How do you organize your family's health records? What programs and organizational systems do you use?
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