Make sure you check out my blogs from February 8th 11th, and 15th, as they have to do with health care, and organizing health care records as well as end of life planning.

Ways to Organize Your Health Records

There are many ways to organize your health care records. Do what makes the most sense to you, fits with your lifestyle and that you are the most likely to maintain.

I am a fan of an accordion file as you can create different categories but still have all your information easily at hand. Most have an area or pocket where you could put the information used often such as health account numbers on the front. Or you can tape an index card.

 

This is something that would work really well for say a surgery as you will have different types of paperwork and usually a lot of it.

 

You could also create different folders and keep in one hanging green folder. I am a fan of color coding and would suggest using that as well. Most of us are visual learners and an easy look at color will direct us where we need to go. Create an index file so others in the family will be able to locate what they need.

You could use a 3 ring binder.

Additional Tips to Set Up Your Health Records

File how it makes sense to you. I have a very easy filing system. My main drawers are personal, work and financial. I have health records under personal, but for someone else, it might make sense to have with finances.

 

You may choose to organize by category (EOB, statements, etc.) or organize by date or illness. I would recommend a file for each family member as well as the pets.

 

Don’t forget to label. Label how you would go searching for something.

 

If you prefer the electronic note, something like Evernote is great because it has such a great search capacity and you can create filing cabinets just as if you had a physical filing cabinet. As I always like to say, do your own research, but here are some online health records management systems: Minerva Health Manager, WebMD Health Manager, Access My Health, Heatly companion, Health Vault

 

Some questions to consider asking when considering a system. I found these questions from AHIMA Personal Health Record Practice Council.

 

Content

  • Will the Personal Health Record provide all the information I need for a complete health history?
  • Will information be automatically added to the PHR from any other records (e.g., insurance, employment, or care)? If so, what information will be added, and how will it be added? Is the information transfer audited?
  • Do I have the opportunity to delete, correct, or additional information? How will I do this?
  • Does the PHR sponsor have any ownership rights to the collected information?
  • Can the PHR sponsor sell my information to anyone or for any reason? If so, how can I protect my privacy? Can I specify that my information not be sold?
  • Will my information be used for employment or insurance coverage decisions (e.g., to determine insurance eligibility)?
  • Who has access to the information in my PHR?
  • Can I choose to give my doctor, dentist, and other caregivers access? How do I control the sharing of my information?
  • How will my information be protected from unauthorized use?
  • If I am no longer employed/insured by you, can I still continue to use the PHR?
  • How can I transfer my information to another PHR sponsor (e.g., a new insurer or new vendor)?
  • Will there be any cost for me to have a PHR with you? (For instance, are there fees if I give my doctor, dentist, and other caregivers access to my PHR?)

 

How will you organize your health care records? What’s most important to you? What questions do you need to ask when considering an online source?

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