by Chris Guld, www.GeeksonTour.com
When you live fulltime in an RV, like we do, everything you own is with you, including any medical records.Â What happens if you visit a Doctor in Arizona, and lose the written report?Â Your medical records will be incomplete, and your regular Doctor in Florida wonâ€™t know anything about it.Â We try to get a printed report any time we visit a Doctor anywhere.Â But, paperwork is a problem in our small home, even though we took out the couch to add filing drawers.
Donâ€™t Count on your Doctor to Maintain your Records
We just spent the entire winter season in our old hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and considered it a luxury to be able to visit the same Doctorsâ€™ office that we did in years passed.Â When we returned for a followup visit, we found the doors closed, the phone disconnected and NO information. A new doctor needed some old information and I couldnâ€™t give it to her.
Take a Picture
Without those historical records, I had to go get a new Xray of an old knee surgery in order to know whether there was any metal pins or staples in my knee.Â So, this time, when we were looking at the Xray, I asked if I could take a picture with my cell phone.Â They said, â€˜Sure.â€™Â I also took a picture of the written report.Â Youâ€™d be surprised at the quality of the results.Â Iâ€™ve created a folder on my computer called medical records and it contains photographs of all pertinent records. Now *that* doesnâ€™t take up any space!
Because of a family member with Alzheimerâ€™s, Iâ€™ve been learning about the MedicAlert + Safe Return program.Â The more I learn, the more I think that *everyone* should have a MedicAlert bracelet.Â Especially travelers.Â The bracelet is engraved with your member ID number and the MedicAlert phone number.Â If you are ever in a situation requiring the services of emergency personnel, they will see the bracelet, call the number and be able to find out the phone numbers for your emergency contacts, as well as any allergies, conditions, and Doctor phone numbers.Â This is life-saving stuff.Â If you change Doctors, you go online, log in to your MedicAlert account, and update the information yourself.Â Easily done.Â You pay $25/year for the service.Â There is a MedicAlert â€˜Goldâ€™ program for $9.95/mo to store all your records.Â
I have recently started using the free online medical records system by Google at www.Health.Google.com.Â In addition to allowing me to enter Doctors, Allergies, Conditions, Procedures and Test results, I can also: