Even in an increasingly digital world, it pays to have hard copies of what matters most. Your medical records are something you should always have in tangible as well as digital form. A compendium of medical records is something every household should keep as an ongoing resource. But there’s more to compiling this information than loading up a manila folder until it’s ready to burst. Here’s a closer, more colorful look at how to keep and organize medical information for yourself and your family.
Collect the Records
First thing’s first: you need the documents in your hands. This requires getting touch with your healthcare providers and requesting copies of your records for personal use. Your doctors should be able to accommodate this request within a reasonable timeframe—generally, five to ten days. Your spouse may be able to authorize you to obtain records on their behalf, but they may have to make that request independently.
Organize Them Well
Making some sense out of all this paperwork can seem daunting at first. Do you organize by date? Family member? Type of document? With color-coding dot stickers from Chromalabel, you can color-code your documents and organize them all within the aforementioned sections and more. Start by arranging the documents themselves in chronological order—preferably not in a folder but in a three-ring binder for easy page-turning and resistance to damage. Assign a color to each member of the family, along with a color for each class of document: hot pink for immunization records, electric blue for medications, or teal for allergy test results, for example. Once you complete your color code, make sure to put together a key on page one for easy reference.
Insist on Including Insurance Information
As you keep and organize medical information, don’t forget to include insurance documentation as well. With the outsize role of health insurance providers in our healthcare system, keeping immaculate records of your health insurance can be just as important as the medical records themselves. Make sure you have all your invoices and receipts well accounted for in your binder, separated from the medical section. Color-code these documents by family member as well—and remember, whether it’s insurance documents or medical records, keep compiling. Stopping halfway will only result in confusion or the risk of things getting misplaced.
Update from April 2021
There's many ways to keep your documents organized. The color-coding dot stickers make labeling easy. You can organize documents by month with round-month labels. There's tons of options! Don't hesitate to call us and ask questions! We will be happy to help you pick out the product that is right for you and your organizational needs.