There are many things that are part of a health record. It should include any health problems you may have, doctor visits, and times you had to go to the hospital. Also include surgeries, any therapy you get (such as physical therapy), and any lab tests you may need because of a health condition. You should also include your allergies, when you had shots, the medicines you take, and any special medical equipment you use. All of this information needs to be written down and kept up to date.
Even though your doctor has medical records about your health, you should also keep your own medical information. There are many forms you can pick from to use. Some can be completed and saved on your computer. Other forms you will need to print out. Or you might just want to make up your own form to use. You may want to keep all of your medical information on a computer.
To see some sample forms go to:
- Transition Information Form (Healthy Transitions NY): Can be completed and saved on computer.
- Health Information Form (WIHD): Can be completed and saved on computer.
Along with a complete health record, it is also important for you to have a short health summary that you can carry with you. The short summary can help with problem situations like emergencies. This should include information on your health problems, safety issues, the medicines you take, allergies you have, your latest immunizations, the doctor and drug store information, your health insurance, any special medical needs, and information on ways you may feel or act in certain situations.
This information should be no longer than two pages that can be kept in a wallet or a backpack. You could also keep it on a flash-drive that is on your keychain.
Here are some samples of short forms that can be used:
- My Health Summary (WIHD): Can be completed and saved on computer.
- Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Needs (AAP, ACEP): Not fillable on computer.
- H.I. Doc. (NYS DOH): Not fillable online; print or call 518-474-2001 for pocket versions.
You may want to keep your information on your phone or tablet, like an iPad. There are a number of applications (apps) for this. Examples include:
- My Medical: Provides an organized data base for medical information; can store documents like x-rays; connects with calendar to keep appointments; can track test results; stored only on your device, not internet; can secure with password; available for Apple and Android devices.
- Track My Medical Records: Stores health information; quick recall emergency contact information; information backed-up on secure internet site; only for Android devices.
- Capzule: Stores health information; pill reminders; PDF summary reports available; only for Apple devices; can copy between devices.
A health diary is also an important way to keep track of any symptoms or concerns that you may want to talk over with your doctor.
- Find out how Maia, a college student, uses a health diary to help her be independent and take over her health care:
- Keeping a Health Diary (KASA)
- Understanding my Disability: Keeping a Health Diary (Healthy Transitions NY): Video shows someone writing in a health diary.