Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 7: Organizing the Medical Records and Information

31 letters to the new mom of a child with Spina Bifida
Day 7:  Organizing the Medical Records and Information

Dear Momma,

Organization is a key element in any household; however, when there is a family member that requires extra medical attention organization is a necessity.  Right after Jaycie was born, the hospital gave us a huge 3-ring binder that zipped closed.  They said it was for keeping up with all of her medical appointments and records.  I thanked the nurse coordinator for bringing it in and I put it in our belongings to take home.  I thought “I’ll get to this when we get home, in a few weeks.”  I wasn’t thinking about the fact that my time and energy would be “zapped” after we returned home.
And I never dreamed that we would have to fly her to another hospital less than 2 months after coming home for an emergency shunt surgery.  Looking back now, I don’t know how I kept up with everything and if I am truly honest there were probably things that were misplaced.  Eventually, I broke out the binder and started to use it.  It was nice to have everything in one place but something about it wasn’t right.  It took a few months for me to realize that the binder didn’t really reflect anything positive-It was just a binder.  It also wasn’t set up in a way that I could use efficiently (the hospital had created labels and stuff for the binder).  To be honest I think it was just a reminder of being far away from our boys and family and the stress of Jaycie being in the NICU.   So I decided to use a different binder, one I already had.  I made it more personal and easier for me to use.  For this post, I thought it would be a good time to give you some ideas and tips for creating a medical binder for you and your child.

·         Make sure the binder is sturdy and can be latched or zipped closed.  When I first switched binders I used one that didn’t zip and when I went to pull it from the stroller during a doctor’s visit all the papers that were not in the rings fell all over the floor.  Now I use a portfolio type binder and I can zip it closed.

·         Make sure you have a calendar page to write down all his/her appointments

·         Make it personal. You may be spending a good bit of time at doctor offices especially in the beginning. 

o   Add photos of your kids

o   Make a section just for things for you (word searches, articles, magazines etc.)

o   Print calendars and information on paper that you like (you can even use scrapbooking materials.)

o    Make sure you have a pen and a pencil in the binder.

·         Create a quick reference contact page for all your child’s physicians

·         Create a quick reference sheet with any current and past medications for your child with dosage info

·         Start a “questions list” page- list any questions you can think of and when you are at the doctor’s office you will be able to ask everything that you wanted to ask (keep this sheet to file when it is full).  Write down their answers while they are fresh in your mind.

·         Type up a brief medical history page so that you are not always repeating yourself when you go to the doctor, this is especially helpful when there are student doctors involved.  Have an extra copy and give it to the nurse as you are heading back to the exam room.  This will save you from having to tell your child’s medical history to three different people- the nurse, the student doctor and the doctor.

I hope that these tips have helped and I hope that you will start with the organization sooner than I did; it will save you time and energy in the long run.

 With Love,


1 comment:

  1. This is an excellant idea for anyone who sees doctors often & Sees multiple Dr.'s..I have enjoyed all your blogs !! Keep this good info coming, it has been.very helpful!!!