It’s happened one too many times now. That situation where once again my Mommy-brain fails me right when I am asked something about one of my kids’ medical histories. By a doctor, no less…..
The phone rings one weekend and it’s my kids’ pediatrician:
Pediatrician: “So Mrs Rowley- on Spencer’s last blood test, he showed an elevated level for Lyme antibody XYZ (insert medical-speak). Did Spencer ever have Lyme disease before?”
Me: “Uhhh…..hmmmm. Well, one or maybe two of my kids had it… I think. I can’t remember which ones though…. Hmmm. (silence) Can you look it up for me?”
Pediatrician: “Well sure- I can do that on Monday when I am back in the office…. today I am just looking at his lab records online from home.”
And I am left with hanging my head low because once again I have failed to keep good track of my kids’ health histories. Sure- I have copies of all of their well-visits and their immunization records- but that’s because the doctor’s office is great about making sure I exit with these in my hands during every well-child visit. And because the school nurse demands a copy- so that keeps me on my toes too. But when it comes to office visits for other reasons? I just stink at keeping track of it all.
Until now…. because now I have a new game plan. And it involves keeping both organized files at home as well as online copies within one of my favorite apps: Evernote. I love using Evernote to keep track of important information because I can both enter it and access it on all of my devices- my computer, my tablet and my phone. So now, no matter where I am- anywhere, anytime- I can access my kids’ medical records and tell you exactly WHO in my house had has Lyme disease (it wasn’t Spencer)…. who suffered from multiple ear infections as babies AND what medications were successful in treating it! I’ve developed a system on how to keep medical records for kids that is working for me, and today I am going to share it with you:
Medical Record Files
So no matter how digital we get, I think that most of us still have at least one filing cabinet or box hanging around, right? To store all of those important papers- of which medical records certainly qualifies. I like to keep a file for each of my children that contains all of the copies of paperwork that I receive from the doctor and the dentist. I keep the well-visit paperwork organized from most recent in the front to the earliest record in the back, and these are paper-clipped together in one pile. Medical-related school forms that I had to complete for the kids- I always keep a copy for myself of the current year’s file(in case the nurse’s office calls saying the never received it- which happens to at least one child per year!) tearing up the prior year’s form when I fill out the new one. And on the other side of the folder, I keep a copy of their medical history- a listing of any illnesses they had, what medications they were prescribed to treat it, and any notes I made about the doctor’s visit.
I actually keep that information typed in an Evernote note and then just print a copy for my files- but these of you who would like to have a version that you can print out and complete- I created one for you! Just click on the image below, and print!
Keeping an Online Copy in Evernote
So of course now that you have your medical records all nicely organized at home… you’ll know right where to find them. Which will not necessarily be where you need them when you make that emergency trip to the urgent care facility because your kid stuffed a pear cube up his nose (yep- another true story!) So as great as having all of those details at home will be- you should have a copy of your child’s last medical exam, immunization records, and health (illness) history on hand where you can access wherever you are- and for most of us… that means on our phones.
Now there are tons of apps available that you can use to track kids medical history- but I find it super simple to just jot down notes in Evernote when I am in the doctor’s office, and add them to the health history that I have on file there.
And even cooler- when the doctor hands over the latest updated version of my child’s well-visit report and immunization record, I can photograph it on my phone right within the Evernote app, and have an immediate digital copy right on file on my phone! All neat and organized and in one place where I can access it!
And before I leave the doctor’s office I can add any notes to myself about when to make a follow up visit, whether any new shots will be required prior to the start of the next school year, etc.
What About Paperwork Related to Doctor’s Bills, Receipts for Co-Pays, Insurance Claims?
I store all of this type of paperwork separately- in files specific to that purpose. One file is for all of our medical co-pays in any given year. Another file is all dental co-pays and out of pocket dental expenses (of which we have plenty!). If I have an ongoing claim that I need to resolve with an insurance company- I might start another file for that purpose. Keeping the financial piece of medical records separate form the children’s files makes it so much easier to find what I am looking for!
If you like this, check out more posts in my How to BE Organized Series:
How do you prefer to keep your family’s medical records organized? Printed hard copies or digital? Do you have an app for this that you love? We all want to hear about it!