Before moving across country in December 2012, I made sure to request and receive a copy of my daughter’s medical records. It took two weeks for them to copy and send them to meso I was glad that I asked for them in early November. Having been through numerous hospital ER trips due to respiratory issues and a hospital stay for pneumonia, I knew that it would be important to have her records in hand and to familiarize myself with what was in those records. While we are homeschooling and do not have to meet school immunization requirements, I wanted to ensure that I had her full immunization history along with the delayed schedule arrangements that we made previously.
I also want to be prepared because being organized in case of an emergency is necessary. In NY, my husband was responsible for taking The Tornado to the doctor for her Well Baby Visits, but I was the organizer of information and keeper of the questions-to-ask. Should something happen to me, it is imperative that he have all the information needed to facilitate the care of our daughter, but it is also important that that information be accessible to her caregivers should something happen to both her dad and me.
Fast forward to today. The Tornado had a physical with a new physician today and I arrived prepared. The office staff was really happy and thanked me for making their jobs easier. In fact, they were so happy that I left there feeling like a RAWKSTAR!
Here’s how you can ensure that you too are ready to be pro-active in your child’s medical care:
- Be Informed: request a copy of your child’s medical records. Some offices will provide this free of charge, but many will charge. Pay the fee to have the copies made. You don’t want the summaries, you want the full records with the doctor’s notes and lab results if any. And when you receive this copy, READ IT. Make sure you understand what is going on with your child’s health. Look for discrepancies or things that you would like to have clarified. Remember doctors and nurses are human and can make mistakes.
- Simplify: Chances are you now have a lot of information. You will want to simplify this information by transferring it to a more concise form. To do this, you can use this chart here: Medical History Summary (.docx). Once you complete this make copies for your home, your Emergency Contact, and your childcare provider, and the person who will be responsible for your child should something happen to you and your spouse.
- Complete a Immunization Record: You want to keep track of your child’s immunizations (and any reactions should they occur). If you haven’t been doing this, don’t fret. You can get this information from the file that you asked your doctor for in step one. This is the form that I used, but you may need to edit it to fit your needs/information: Child Immunization Record (.docx). Be sure to make copies and distribute to all parties as necessary.
- Medicine: If your child is on daily medication, you will want to have a sheet for that too. Here is a form that you can use as well: Prescribed Medicine History.
- New Doctor: If you are are heading to a new doctor, ask if there are New Patient Forms and/or Pediatric forms that will need to be completed at the first visit. If there are and they have a way for you to download them, do so. Take the time prior to your appointment to complete these forms as thoroughly as possible. If you wait until the visit, you will feel rushed and will forget something.
Hope this helps! Good luck!