I suppose a blog could go a lot of ways with a title like this. I’m actually talking about literally keeping it all together - as in your child’s medical files. If you have a kiddo dealing with more than common childhood bumps, bruises, breaks and illnesses, keeping track of all the information from labs, meds and doctors can be a real feat. If you don’t have all of the right information at the right time, it can cause some hold ups in the process of helping your child get the care that he or she may need. So let’s talk ideas on how to do our best to keep it together.
Not all - and we get that - but most of us have some form of device that can take a photo and store it. We typically carry that thing around with us all, if not most, of the time. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can capture images of your child’s paperwork and keep them in folders that are easily accessible. You can carry these to any and every appointment and have it right there with you at check ins or when visiting with the provider. This can also be a plus when trying to make appointments. GoogleKeep is one of those apps, among others, that help organize photos and give a place for notes, lists and sharing. This capability can be great if one parent takes a kiddo to one appointment because it fits her schedule and the next appointment fits his - with the shared documents, it will all be right there for whoever needs it.
For those of us who still love our paper - hand raised high here! - there are some great tips and tools out there for compiling medical information into notebooks and journals. If this works better for you and you can remember to carry it with you, be sure to always keep it updated. If you need tabs to help you keep things organized, like “medications” or “lab work” or a doctor, this can help you quickly find what you need when you need it. You can leave space in here with places you can take notes when you’re on the phone or in an appointment. This route can be handy if a copy needs to be made.
But How Do I Get It?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to get records for various reasons. It can be a challenge sometimes for records to get passed around to the different offices that may need them, so if you can get your hands on a copy (paper or digital) that can help with some of the communication challenges. You have a right to your child’s records. You can call the provider’s office or stop in or get a copy mailed to you. In a perfect world all of the technology and exchanges of information would run smoothly and on time. And we all know that we don’t live in that world. It is ok to make sure you have what you need from your child’s medical records in order to coordinate care with other providers. Errors may happen for a myriad of reasons, so gently stick to your guns and make sure that you have everything because you, as the parent/guardian of your child, will always be the hub of information in each appointment (or phone call).
However you find a system that works for you, be sure to keep it all together. It will save you some headaches and keep communication open and more clear with your child’s providers as you all do your best to meet the needs of your child on his/her medical journey. For more tips or tricks or support in gathering and storing your child’s medical records, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-333-1273 and I’d be happy to help!
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