Some medical records are extremely sensitive and stored by your doctors, hospitals, and other institutions. Then there’s general health information that doesn’t reveal too much but still has value to your family, friends, and associates.
How you share this general medical history is up to you, but it’s nice to have it neatly organized in one place in case of an emergency.
You might have some medical records and not even realize it. Now it’s time to gather up these files and documents, put them all in the same spot, and let someone know where you keep them. Here are some examples to get you started:
- CD-ROM of MRI results.
- Dental records.
- Immunization record from when you went on that rainforest vacation (or any other exotic trip abroad).
- Account and login info for online records (example: blood results from your primary care physician).
There’s a story behind every medication. Some might be too personal and private to share openly with people outside of your trusted circle, but you might want other people in your life to know about medications that could save your life or cause a dangerous reaction in a medical emergency. For this reason, you should share the following information with your family and trusted associates:
- Name of medication.
- Medication location.
- Prescribing doctor.
- Pharmacy/ordering service information. (Example: If it’s on auto-renew, how would you change or cancel it?)
- Additional instructions.
Some allergies are minor inconveniences. Others might be life or death. This is the information you want to share with family, friends, associates, and anyone else who could accidentally put you at risk:
- Type of allergy.
- Type and location of medication. (If applicable. Example: location of EpiPen.)
- Additional instructions.
The important people in your life most likely know about an illness you’ve managed at some point in your life, but are there any others who might need this information as well? For example, a child could be completely unaware of a blood condition that runs in the family. Here’s a way to share the basics and start a medical history discussion, without making things too uncomfortable or revealing. Share:
- Type of chronic or major illness.
- Medication or treatment (if applicable).
- Doctor/medical professional contact information in case of an emergency.
Medical equipment and devices
Do you have any medical equipment that would need to be returned at some point? Let your family know. Otherwise they could receive a huge bill from an insurance or supply company over a really expensive bed or piece of physical therapy equipment that’s gathering dust in the spare room. Here’s the information to get in order:
- Type of device.
- Equipment provider’s information (if applicable).
- Additional information. (Example: “This bed needs to be shipped back the moment I’m finished using it, or else we will be charged.”)
Keep your plan up-to-date: Make sure all of the stuff listed above is neatly organized, updated, and shared in your Everplan. (What’s an Everplan? You can learn more and sign up here.)
Things to Consider
- It’s OK for some of your medical history to remain a secret, but other aspects, like allergies, could save your life in an emergency.
- By sharing chronic or hereditary illnesses, you could help your kids or other family members identify conditions before they arise.
- There could be hidden costs for medication or medical equipment that could be expensive for your family.
This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit: everplans.com.