Monday, November 21, 2011

Tip #4: Key Things You Need to Know About Yourself To Tell The Docs: How to Make A Medical Info Sheet!! More Insider Tips on How to Get the BEST Medical Care in the Hospital

Ok so today I'm going to talk about PREPARATION!  This is something REALLY important that you can do to immediately improve the level of care you receive from the moment you walk into the hospital!  

We health care providers LOVE organized patients because your organization allows us to quickly get a full clinical picture of you--therefore giving us the opportunity to treat you more effectively & efficiently. 

The other reason we LOVE having an organized, prepared patients is because it is very obvious from the beginning that you are OUR TEAMMATE!  By preparing your medical info sheet you indicate to us immediately that you are NOT a passive participant in your health care!  You are actively trying to understand what is going on in your body.  This bodes well for both your recovery & your survival of serious illness!

So here we go...

Tip #4:  Key Things to Know About Yourself: (I say "your" but this could apply to any of your family members)

First, make a clearly written/typed sheet with your NAME & DATE OF BIRTH on it with all the following data:


1)  Know your medications & keep them with you at ALL times on that clearly written/typed list:  

  •  names 
  • doses 
  • frequency 
  • when/why each one was started 
    • (i.e. I take Metoprolol 50mg twice daily.  Started in 1996 for High Blood Pressure) 
  • Include EVERY vitamin as well & things like Birth Control Pills & Metamucil, etc.  
  • If you don't know the answers to these questions, call your primary care doctor to clarify and/or have them "proof" your list.  
    • I like the idea of putting it folded up in a tiny ziploc bag in your wallet.)
2)  Know Your Allergies--

  • including 
    • medications, 
    • foods, 
    • materials like latex
  • for EACH one write what the allergy looks like (what happens when you take it)
    •  (i.e. Penicillin:  Rash & trouble breathing, discovered in 1989)  
3)  Know Your Past Medical History: Including:

  • current medical conditions that your doctor is treating you for 
  • surgeries & 
  • past hospitalizations WITH dates!  
  • if you are a cancer patient or have a history of cancer, write out what treatment you received or are receiving & when 
    • i.e. I have breast cancer.  I have had a mastectomy, finished 3 cycles of chemotherapy & am now on the 2nd week of radiation therapy

4)  Your Immunization History:  Every nurse you meet will ask you about this--just bring it with you WRITTEN DOWN ON THE MEDICAL INFO SHEET with the dates you got the shots.

5)  Who your doctors are:  ON THE MEDICAL INFO SHEET list:

  • The name & number of your primary care doctor
  • The name & number of ANY specialist you are currently seeing & **why you see them**
6)  MOST IMPORTANTLY: Your advanced directive telling us what to do if you get sick enough that you can't make your own decisions & you require things like life support, resuscitation etc.)  PUT THIS IN THE SAME LOCATION AS YOUR INFO SHEET ABOVE AND TAKE IT WITH YOU EVERYWHERE!!
  • EVERYONE needs one of these, and I mean EVERYONE
  • This will be one of the first questions you are asked--the admitting department usually asks it at first actually!
  • I don't care if you are 22 and in perfect health (there are always the risk of car accidents, etc) or if you are 95 and ill with a myriad of chronic illnesses:  YOU NEED ONE
  • I'm not sure of the legality of everything but at a minimum you should have your wishes written down with copies to all the key family members.  
  • If you want it to be legally binding you need to consult a lawyer (I am NOT one).  A power of attorney is a good idea too.
  • I'll write more about this in one of my Tuesday "Medical System" Posts
ONE LAST POINT:   **if you are a caregiver of a family member or a spouse/daughter/son/mother/father than make sure you have every one of your family member's info sheets that you are responsible for.  If the patient is not able to speak for themselves, the medical team will turn to you.***  (The last thing you want is to be running over to their house to pick up their medications--usually by then the initial admitting orders will be in & the patient will be in their room on different meds!!)

Hope this info helps!!

Next Time:  Tips #5 & #6: What is the Hospital Routine & Who ARE These Different People Taking Care of You??

Coming Up AFTER Thanksgiving:
  • SuperImmunity Foods for KIDS (Calling All PARENTS!)
  • RECIPES & Ideas: Snacks!  YUMMY & Portable Plant-Based Snack Food--all sugar-free, gluten-free & without adding oil or fat!!
The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.  Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. The Happy Rehab Doc expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.  By visiting this site you agree to the foregoing terms and conditions.

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