Sunday, June 3, 2012

Captain's Log - Medical Log Book To Track Doctors' Appointments

Do you have a medical log book for your kids? If not, you should seriously consider starting one today! I think this is my #1 mommy suggestion because it’s important for all kids – not just those that have special medical needs like my daughter and my son with more than just a pediatrician to keep track of. Think about it. How many times have YOU changed doctors over the years? General practitioner, OB-GYN, other specialists…and how many tests have you gotten done? Blood work, x-ray, MRI, etc. Unfortunately our health care system is not digitalized yet so our doctors can’t access your past medical history unless you know who that doctor was, where they’re located and their fax number in order to request previous records. And that’s only possible if you even REMEMBER if you’ve gotten that test. You can’t make a request for a record at some doctor’s office if you don’t even recall having a record!

My son's Medical Log Book
So, now that I’ve got you wondering how many doctors you’ve forgotten and how many work-ups or scans you don’t recall, let’s not let that happen with your kids! I went to Wal-Mart and got a cute 3-ring binder so that I can save all of my son’s doctor visit records in it. What I do is, at every doctor appointment I request a copy of their notes (we see them write down everything from the temp, BP, height and weight to the nature of the visit and their recommendations). Then, I punch holes in the paper and stick it in the binder! How simple! There are some offices that won't give you a copy so I keep track of every appointment on my “Log Sheet” where I write in the date, doctor/location, and remarks for quick access. This way if I’m looking for the last time I took him to, let’s say, his pediatrician, all I do is check the log for “Pediatrician” and see the date. Then I’ll know exactly where to look so I don’t have to flip through the whole binder (which can get pretty big!) If you’re super organized (like myself; I love the office aisle in any store) you can use section tabs for different things like “pediatrician”, “GI”, “health insurance records” or whatever your organizational heart desires!
Aside from the fact that it’s fun to do (you see how exciting my life has become?!?), there IS an alternate reason to start this project. You just never know if something will go wrong and you need to look back at your child’s history to see when it started. Or maybe your pediatrician missed something that she should’ve caught and now you have the notes to prove it.
Enjoy your trip to Staples!

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