If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the Covid pandemic, is that you cannot take for granted that your doctor (if you have one) is always there and available when you need them. Most of us have had to settle for “virtual” appointments which might be fine for simple issues but are certainly not helpful for more serious ones.
Moreover, if you were waiting to have a specialist consultation or medical procedure done, you likely have been subjected to repeated delays and postponements. In some cases, these delays can have devastating consequences.
You likely know a few things about your health, or a specific condition that impacts you, but your memory will never match the amount of detail available in your medical records. It’s all about you. Shouldn’t they be accessible by you… always?
Taking possession of digital copies of your medical records, ensuring they are accessible, and keeping them up to date is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself.
Patients who secure their medical records appear to have better health outcomes and feel more in control of their own healthcare.
Why You Need To Collate All Your Medical Records
- You’re The Only One That Can Do It – Only you have the ability to collect and store ALL of your medical information. Keep in mind that you might also be seeing a chiropractor, a physiatrist, a dentist, a massage therapist, or other practitioners that are not centralized through your family doctor. Only you have the ability to aggregate all of this information and to keep it up to date.
- Second Opinion and Options – With your medical records in hand, you have the ability to consult with other doctors through your own initiative. Perhaps you have a personal contact in medicine. Perhaps you’ve contemplated going out of town for a procedure. Perhaps you simply want a second opinion. It all starts with the record.
- Medical Errors – In a survey study done with over 140,000 patients, 1 out of 5 patients reported finding a serious error in their medical records. Those mistakes ranged from errors in diagnoses, errors in medications currently or previously taken, test results and references to a different patient altogether. These errors if left unchecked easily end up forwarded to other doctors, to insurance companies, to surgeons, etc. There are ways to have errors in your record corrected, not just in your copy but in records held by your own doctor as well.
- Vaccinations and Immunizations – You’ve seen how important it’s been to prove your Covid vaccination status. Other vaccination statuses are also important, ie. Chicken pox, HPV, Hepatitis, Flu Shot, Tetanus, etc.
- Know Blood Test Results – It’s said that 70% of the lab results never get communicated to the patient. There are minute trends that are happening for many patients in their results, which over the long haul, do have an impact. You should know.
- Emergencies – It’s said that in emergencies, having medical records available can assist 80% of the time.
- Be a Better Patient – When meeting with a new doctor, it helps to know in advance what issues should be discussed. It starts with the record.
- Know your medications – Knowing what your meds and dosages are helps in emergency, walk-ins, when travelling, when meeting with a new doctor.
- Know your baseline readings – Knowing what your normal heart rate is, what your normal weight is, your blood pressure, your blood counts etc., means that you can recognize when they’ve changed.
- We Do Not Have An Interconnected Healthcare System. The goal of an interoperable healthcare system has yet to be achieved. Healthcare has become specialized in each area, and doctors typically do not share the way one would expect them to in order to achieve optimal health for their patients.
Nobody cares about you as much as you do. Who better to keep your complete health records up to date than your most passionate advocate – you!
Learn how to get your records and keep them up to date.