Keeping Up With Your Medical Records
It is a hard decision choosing to move on to another doctor when things are not going anywhere with the current doctors. But there are times when it is necessary to try somebody else’s approach at managing your chronic migraine. I discussed moving on from your doctor in the article Firing Your Doctor. An important step in the process of moving on to a new doctor is maintaining your medical records.
Get your own copy
When I decide to leave an office, I make sure to request my own personal copy of my medical records. Sometimes this does require a fee, but to me it is well worth it. Doctor offices will transfer your records to a new office for you free of charge, but I believe it is still important to acquire a copy for your own records.
Why do I want my own record binder?
There are several reasons why I prefer having my own medical record binder. To start with, you never know when a doctor will decide to move or even close their medical practice. In many cases if they simply move their practice, with some time and effort you can manage to hunt down your records. On the other hand, if they completely close their practice it can become extremely hard, if not impossible, to get a copy of your medical records at that point.
I like having my own copy of everything because then I know for sure that I have a record of the different medications and treatments that I have tried. This circumvents arguing with a doctor over a treatment or medication that you have already tried since they do not always take your word on what you have tried. Additionally, it is easier to scan a copy over to the new office instead of expecting them to request records from however many doctors you have seen and hoping that those doctors comply in a timely manner.
Organization is key
It is helpful to keep your records organized. I have a very large binder with brightly colored see-through divider tabs for the different clinics or doctors. I also make a cover page to be the first page after the divider that states the name of the clinic, the dates that I was treated there, and the major treatments done during that time. In addition to my physical records, I keep a document that lists the different medications and treatment that I have tried as a sort of summary for the doctor to be able to view everything quickly. This makes sure I do not forget to mention a medication that I have already tried and then if they want to see the doctor’s opinion on the effects of that medication, they can look in the records for that information. The ‘Tried It Summary’ also allows doctors to assess what you have gone through and hopefully start you out on a new plan at the first appointment, after which they can go through your records in depth.
Do you keep up with your medical records on your own? Do you have a binder or a file box, or some other system?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?