How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

41 POST Medical History stock-photos-image986512357
Updated On 4/19/21

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It’s more important than EVER to have all of the medical information about the people you love, at your fingertips.

When a patient is brought in the emergency room unconscious, aside from obvious injuries, the doctors caring for him basically have no information about their patient.  They have no idea what he might be allergic to, what medications he’s taking or the surgery he had the month before. 
And when you add in the COVID pandemic and the fact that you might not even be able to set foot in the hospital to be with someone you love?
It’s more important than EVER to have all of the medical information about the people you love, at your fingertips.

Here’s what to do to keep YOUR family safe.

Elaine Sullivan was an active seventy-one year old living on her own in Chicago.  One day while getting ready to take a bath, she slipped and fell, striking her head and mouth on the side of the tub.  Her neighbors realized they hadn’t seen her all day and called the paramedics, who went in and found her, conscious, but unable to speak.
Elaine had previously been a patient at the hospital she was taken to, she had Medicare and Medicare Advantage insurance and everything she needed.  Or so she thought.  Even though she was stable, injuries to her mouth made her unable to speak, so she was unable to speak for herself.  Over the next few days, after a series of serious medical errors and a critical drug interaction, her condition worsened.
Elaine Sullivan was my grandma. 

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

Despite the fact that the hospital had my mother’s and my contact information for our home in Los Angeles, the hospital didn’t even try to call us for 6 1/2 days.  By the time they did, Grandma was in critical condition from a lack of the most basic care.  She was supposed to be on vacation at the time so we weren’t expecting to hear from her.  By the time they finally called us, we had no time to get to her before she passed away, unnecessarily and alone. 
As we found out the hard way, some hospitals don’t make calling your next of kin their priority. 
Even though most hospitals try to find an unconscious patient’s emergency contacts, sometimes they get so busy or are so understaffed that they don’t make that call as quickly as they should.
What caused Grandma’s death?  A simple drug interaction that would have easily been prevented with one phone call to us.
And recent natural disasters and COVID-19 have only amplified the need to get a patient’s identification, medical history and emergency contact information to the physicians treating him as quickly as humanly possible.

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Your Emergency Medical Information 

Emergencies can rattle the best of us, and the phone number or facts you know by heart are the very ones that could elude you when you need them most!
You just can’t leave information that important up to your memory.  So let’s get it down on paper, where it belongs.

1 What Information Am I Going To Need?

Grab a pencil and paper and jot down the types of medical information you have for each member of the family.
This includes your family’s medical history, the names of everyone’s physicians, specialists, dentists, optometrists and other health care providers and their current and past prescriptions. 

2 The Most Important Things Are…

Close your eyes for a moment & imagine that you’re sitting in the ER with everyone in your house.  One by one, imagine that your spouse, each child or your parent has an injury, like a broken arm, or needs emergency surgery.
The doctor – someone who doesn’t know you or your family’s unique medical or emotional needs – walks through the door.
What does this doctor need to know about them?  
Jot down all of the things that just went through your mind.  Old injuries, allergies, surgeries, anything you think is important.

3 Locate and Gather All The Information You Have

Using those notes and the list you completed in Step 1, locate and gather all of the medical information you have at home, along with your address book or contact information for physicians as well as the people you’ll be using for emergency contacts.

4 Create Your Medical Information Forms

Grab a copy of our Medical History Form, or if you have a copy of our book “Write It Down” you’ll find a copy in the back of the book.
Create one for each adult and child in your family, adding all of the information you’ve located.

5 Choosing Your Emergency Contacts

Choose and name at least 3 emergency contacts for each person, including yourself.
Main Emergency Contact:  If you are married, include your spouse on your form and yourself on your spouse’s form.  For your children, this would be you and your spouse.
2nd Contact: should be a nearby relative or good friend who you would trust enough to make informed choices on your behalf, if necessary.
3rd Contact: should be an out of town/out of state relative or friend.

6 Anything Else To Add?

Is there any other information you need, to deal with a medical emergency while evacuated or away from home?  If so, scan or make copies of that information and place it in the same computer folder as your completed medical history forms.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to put ICE (In Case Of Emergency) Contacts in your and your family’s smartphones along with a copy or link to your medical history forms.  That way if you ever need quick access to a family member’s medical history you’ll have it right at your fingertips.  You’ll find instructions on creating ICE Contacts on an iPhone and on a Galaxy/Android, right here on the blog.

7 Now For Safekeeping…

Print, scan or make three copies of the form you just completed, along with the documents or other materials you need and store them in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
If you’ve decided to print out your forms and medical documents on paper, you can place them:
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin. 
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
  • In your file cabinet at work/office.  If your spouse, child or relative is injured while you’re at work, you can grab the medical information from your files and take it to the emergency room.
Once you save your forms and medical documents onto your computer, you can also:
  • Save the forms to your smartphone and/or your password-protected Dropbox, iCloud or OneDrive so that if a member of your family is ever rushed to the emergency room, you can send the form directly to the emergency physician, so that they’ll have a medical history immediately, before you even arrive at the hospital.
  • Save them to a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your evacuation bin.
One important note:  DO NOT put your or your family’s social security numbers in your list of vital information or in online files or folders, no matter how secure they are.  If you have to have those numbers with you (and haven’t memorized them), copy or scan the originals and place them in a secure safe deposit box instead.

High Tech Toys

Here are the coolest ways we can find to keep everyone you love safe and connected.  Smart phones, smart watches, smart flash drives that beam data where you need it and a car accessory that diagnoses your engine on the go.  You’re welcome.
Anker PowerConf Bluetooth Speakerphone
Apple Air Pods
Apple Watch Series 3  
Apple/iTunes Gift Card
Autobrain GPS Tracker for Vehicles
Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone  
Iridium GO! Satellite Phone Wi-Fi Hotspot
BlueCosmo Inmarsat IsatPhone
Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Gear Fit2 Smartwatch Large, Black
SanDisk 32GB iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad
Galaxy Fold Z2
IPhone 12 Pro Max
IPhone SE
IPod Touch
Jitterbug Flip Phone
The Ridge Slim RFID Front Pocket Wallet
Tulips In The Breeze Smartphone Case
Red Parrot Smartphone Case
The COVID pandemic has created a new list of toys that people can’t do without — including some very cool high-tech solutions to unexpected challenges.  Like staying healthy and working from home!  Here are some of our favorites.
Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
I’m Smiling On The Inside Face Masks
iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer
iProvèn Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
No-Touch Door Opener, Button Pusher Tool
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer
Sony Tie-Clip-Style Omnidirectional Microphone
Total Gym APEX G5 Total Body Strength Training
Zacurate Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
For a book’s worth of tips and tools on getting your stuff written down, backed up and together, pick up a copy of our book “Write It Down” in paperback or via instant download.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are
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