A Medical Binder
Your own copy of your medical history is helpful to keep track of your progress, to show to new doctors, and to provide an easy-to-remember place to store your notes.
Many people keep their medical records in a binder or folder. Or you can keep them online by scanning documents into a file. Any loose leaf binder with pockets for documents will do. If you have cancer, consider the following items which were created for this purpose:
- A plastic folder from the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org, tel. 800.227.2345
- A notebook from the Lance Armstrong Foundation: www.livestrong.org Search on "Notebook". tel. 877.236.8820,
If you create your own record, information should include:
- The date you were diagnosed.
- The precise diagnosis.
- Copies of lab tests and test results, including pathology report(s) that describe the type and stage of your condition(s).
- Medical providers
- Telephone number (and mobile number if you get it)
- Fax number
- E mail address
- Health Insurance information, including
- Name of insurer
- Policy number
- Insured if someone other than you
- Contact telephone number for the insurer
- Drugs you take, including:
- How many times a day
- When you started taking the drug
- When you stopped taking the drug
- Drugs to which you are allergic
- Places and dates of specific treatment, such as:
- Details of all surgeries.
- If you have radiation, sites and total amounts of radiation therapy.
- If you have chemotherapy, names and doses of chemotherapy and all other drugs.
- Key lab reports
- Copies of x-rays, CT scans, MRIs - preferable on disks. Also keep copies of all x-ray, CT scan and MRI reports.
- List of signs to watch for and possible long-term effects of treatment.
- Contact information for all health professionals involved in your treatment and follow-up care.
- Any problems that occurred during or after treatment.
- Information about supportive care you received (such as special medicines, emotional support, and nutritional supplements)
- Contact information for people you want to keep up-to-date.
- A place to note questions and concerns as they arise. As an alternative, Survivorship A to Z provides a "Prioritizer". You can keep track of questions and concerns. Before you do to a doctor's appointment, you can prioritize your entries with the click of a button.
- A copy of your Health Care Power Of Attorney, Living Will and other advance directives.
- For note taking, extra paper and a pen or pencil.
- Photos of loved ones and/or favorite peaceful places for inspiration.
- You can personalize the binder and make it "fun". For instance, add photos, articles, quite that inspire you, or a place for a journal.
- While it may seem like a lot of work, empowered patients also keep track of symptoms to help maximize time with doctor(s) and other health care providers. We provide a free interactive chart for this purpose. Click here.
To Learn More
More InformationSymptoms Diary Enforcement Of Your Right To Information And Copies Of Documents Medical Records 101
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