Personal Medical History Record, Do You Need One?
The command “Know Thy Health” is not one of the Ten Commandments, but it should be. Most people likely know their car’s history better than their own health history. Why is it that we keep track of the details about certain things in our lives, such as our cars and investments, but we often have no clue about the details of our most precious asset, our health?
Maybe some of us believe that it’s someone else’s job. Or maybe some of us don’t keep track of the details of our health because we don’t understand the importance of doing so, or we don’t know how. The best way that I can explain why I think some people don’t do a better job keeping up with the details about their health is with the use of an analogy about driving an automatic transmission car versus a manual transmission car. For most people their health early in life is like driving an automatic transmission car where no work has to be done changing gears, but as we grow older and/or encounter health problems we go from driving an automatic transmission car to driving a manual transmission car. Some people simply do not want to acknowledge this change in their health, and instead of learning how to properly drive a stick shift (manual transmission) they continue to putt-putt along until things ultimately breakdown. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is the more you keep track of your health history details the healthier you’ll be. It is the first step in becoming an empowered proactive patient.
According to Bill Thomas, M.D., a geriatric medicine and eldercare expert and AARP visting scholar, “Keeping a personal medical history is one of the most important steps people can take to improve the safety and quality of the health care they receive. Nowadays, patients are partners with their doctors, and things work best when both partners are involved with the task of keeping accurate records,” he says. “A personal medical record can be a real lifesaver.”
So what is the best, simplest, and quickest way to keep track of your health history? At the end of this blog, you’ll find a link to a sample letter to request your health information from your health care providers. This information along with what you can recall about your personal and family’s health history can be used to create your own personal medical history record. Yes, creating and maintaining your own personal medical history record is the answer to keeping up with your health history and maintaining good health.
Your personal medical history record will act as your own medical chart. It will not only be your guide to staying healthy, but also your most important tool for managing whatever health problems you may have. It will provide critical information about you to your health care providers. And guess what? By creating and maintaining a health record, it can speak for you if you’re unable to talk due to a health problem or if you just feel uncomfortable expressing the details about your health. That’s right, just hand over your personal medical history record to a doctor or other health care professional and they’ll have everything they need to take good care of you. One major complaint that doctors have about patients is that patients usually give too much unnecessary information when they try to describe their health problems and health history. Your health record will help you avoid this common mistake and increase the chances that your doctor will make the right diagnosis. The right diagnosis could save your life!
So how do you get started? There are many ways you go about creating your own personal medical history record, but we’ve made it quick and easy for you. You can create a personal medical history by using the Health Power 101 Organizer. The Health Power 101 Organizer was created and designed to present your health information in a clear, organized, easy to use manner. You can learn more about the Health Power 101 Organizer by clicking on the video above, and remember if you decide not to use our personal medical history record please use someone else’s or create your own; it’s just that important that you take charge of your health today!
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