When it comes to organizing medical records, there are several good reasons to do so. There are also a few different ways to do it, and it’s important to choose the way that’s going to work best for a particular person and their records. What’s right for one person might not be right for another one, and that’s perfectly okay. Here are some of the main things to consider when organizing medical records.
1. Track Medical History or Get a Second Opinion
One of the biggest reasons to organize medical records is to track medical history and progress. That can help with treatment and medication options, changes that need to be made, or simply to verify what’s been tried in the past. Additionally, when there’s the need for a second opinion it’s easier to get a high-quality analysis when the records are all there to be easily seen and examined.
2. The Details of Patient History
A patient’s medical history should be detailed, and there are a lot of specifics found in these records. That can include test results, progress reports, medication dosages and changes, clinical findings, and family health history. Insurance forms and printouts from the pharmacy can also be stored with medical records in order to have everything in one place.
3. Record-Keeping Box or File Folder?
There are a couple of different ways to store medical records, and a record-keeping box is a common option. So is a file folder. Which one is chosen depends on personal preference and also on the number of records that have to be stored. For a large number of records, a file folder may not be big enough and a box may be a better choice.
4. Make Sure It’s Up-To-Date
One of the most important things about keeping medical records organized is making sure that — however they’re stored — they’re up-to-date. If the records are outdated, they don’t really give the information needed for anyone to get the information they need from them. That can mean that treatments aren’t chosen properly or diagnoses get overlooked.
5. Records Should Be Ready and Accessible
Another important thing to note about organizing medical records is that the records need to be able to be accessed quickly and easily. If all the records are there but they can’t be reached, there’s really no value in them. Instead, being able to get to them fast matters. Then if there’s an emergency the records are available and can benefit the patient.
6. Take Full Advantage of Technology
A lot of care providers are starting to offer online record-keeping options for their patients. For any records that can be stored that way, taking advantage of that opportunity is a good idea. There are apps and programs where these records can be quickly and efficiently accessed. But make sure that log-ins and passwords are noted somewhere safe that’s easy for the right people to find.
By making a few changes to the way medical records are stored and organized, it’s possible to be safer and have a better chance at a good health outcome when a medical record review can make the difference.