Advocacy Series: #4 – Get Organized

Create a system that works for you where medical information is easily and quickly accessible.

To every appointment or test, I carry a shoulder bag that includes: 1) a list of active medications, 2) a list of the latest scan and test dates, 3) summaries of the test results, and 4) if relevant, MRI or CT images on disk.

Maybe it sounds like overkill.

At every appointment, we are asked for a list of medications or changes to medications (regardless of whether they are already in the system). We’ve been asked for the dates of his last scans, scan results, even the # of uses he has left in his pain pump until refill.

Getting organized with medical information reduces stress. It won’t remove the insurance calls that might need to be made – but if a call has to be made, the information is quickly available.

What Jeff Has to Say…

“This is a really valuable one because it also helps ensure that I am not going to be treated based on inaccurate information. It’s a way to double-check.

It has also reduced the need for me to endure more testing. There have been times when we’ve reminded the team about tests previously taken – and ask whether they can look at those versus scheduling the same test 30 days later. Many times, it turns out the images taken are just fine for what they need.

I know the medical process and systems are playing a role here. For me, the repetition can become maddening. Asking the same questions over and over again, especially when I’m not feeling 100% that day. It’s something I personally struggle with – I know it’s part of the process, it’s a way to double-check – it doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating.”

Now it’s your turn.

How do you keep things organized and easily accessible?

Other resources to get organized: