Organizing Your Medical Records

by Nilsa Cleland
(last updated March 12, 2015)

You receive a notice that it is time for your annual medical appointment. You know you will be asked numerous questions regarding your last visit to the doctor's office but you have a hard time even remembering your doctor's name. You don't even remember what the doctor told you about your past visit and what instructions the doctor told you to follow.

It is time to hit your filing cabinet and pull out all the receipts, slips of paper, and who knows what related to your medical care. The following are ideas to help with the organization of your medical records:

  • Make a hanging folder named something like "Medical Records/2012" (current year). Make a list of all current medications taken by you and/or other members of your household. Place the medication list inside the manila folder labeled with your name and the current year. If you have other members in your home that share your filing system, make manila medical folders for them as well using the same label format and place the medication list in their individual folders. Keep these manila folders in alphabetical order to make it easier to locate. Place all receipts and doctor visit documents in the household member's appropriate folder.
  • At the start of a new year, make new folders for your medical records as the previous year. Should you desire to keep the same folder, simply change the year on the folder. Place all medical information without disturbing the chronological order of the paperwork in another envelope for safekeeping. Label the envelope or folder with the appropriate year of the medical documents.
  • Staple the doctor's business card inside your medical folders. The business cards can be easily located when you need to contact your doctor and you have your folder with all of your medical information at your fingertips.
  • If you enjoy maintaining your information in your computer database, it is a simple process. Simply create a folder with your name and year for your online medical information. Create a template for medical visit summaries. The creation of the template will make it easier to fill in the information when you return home from your doctor's visit.
  • Create a subfolder within the medical information folder. Name the folder "medication". Place a list of all medications in the subfolder you have created. You can then create a new document for each medical visit with a summary of your doctor's name, doctor's phone number, the date of your visit, the reason for your visit, and the diagnosis along with the doctor's recommendations. Include the medication prescribed.

During times of emergency, it is an excellent idea to maintain an organized file system of your medical records for quick information for medical personnel.

Author Bio

Nilsa Cleland

Nilsa is currently working on her first novel. She is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and poems of which one has been published in a book of poetry. She and her husband reside in the foothills of one of Colorado's most beautiful mountains. ...

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