Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Importance of Looking At Medical Records

Like most people, until maybe a year ago, I'd never thought to worry much about medical records except the aggravation of getting them transferred to another doctor's office if a new doctor is being seen.  Our current paper based system is INCREDIBLY inefficient.  I personally think medical records should be in a database that any doctor's office can access at any given point in time.  In fact, I think we should have access to our own and our children's records while they are minors at any given point in time.  Medical records should not be a secret and difficult thing to obtain.  We also should not have to pay for them.

Recently, about a year ago, I got fed up with the aggravation of having to deal with Evan's medical records not getting to where they needed to go all the time so I decided to amass them myself and get them organized in a 3 ring binder so that precious time would not be wasted in having to wait for records to be transferred.  Speaking of which, NEVER assume your doctor or your child's doctor knows or remembers all the details.  Your doctor is merely a highly educated human being.  A highly educated human being that sees thousands of people, dozens a day.  You and I, my child or yours is but a blip in their day.  They're going to forget details and make mistakes.  Do not for a moment place your life or your child's life completely in their hands.  If you think for a moment that there are some details being forgotten, you BETTER bring it up.  Anyway, I started trying to amass these medical records and of course I had to pay for some of these, but it was well worth it.  So far, I've paid close to $85, have amassed enough to fill a 3" binder, and I'm not done getting everything.  I've also managed to obtain a CD full of MRI images. 

Of course when I got these medical records, I HAD to read them and what I found just absolutely floored me.  There was so much that I was never verbally told.  So much could have been done earlier.  Or at least, I think perhaps it could have.  If you, your child, or a loved one is dealing with an ongoing medical issue, PLEASE get your/their medical records together and look at them.  You may not understand what some of it is talking about, but you can learn.  There is a wealth of knowledge to be had at your fingertips if you have a computer and internet access.  What you find may shock you and put you on the right path to some answers.

Here is a link to Avery's Do-It-Yourself Health Care Binder

1 comment:

  1. Oh Girl, that 3 ring binder is worth it's weight in Gold. One time I thought I lost Mae's and was in a panic!! Called everyone I knew....can't remember where I found it.... just remember it being lost.
    And Doctors go back and "amend" the records too. Mae's first pediatrician went back and hand wrote developmental delays at 12 months when I asked him at 13 months if she could be Autistic and he told be "no, it's something that is prewired". I was requesting the records around the same time.