With six kids, it is just so darn hard to keep track of which kid had what illness this past winter, who has had a referral to the eye doctor and been cleared of the need for glasses, did I schedule my soon-to-be 10 year old's next annual physical? Which kid was it that needed a follow-up hearing exam? Did my son have his tonsils removed this year or last year? And puh-leaze… don't even get me started on remembering who has which blood type!
But after one too many trips to the pediatrician's office where I just gave the doctor a blank stare after he asked me if child so-and-so had any recent ear infections… I decided that it was time to find a way to keep track of all of this stuff- because holding it in my brain just wasn't working for me!
Create a Tracking Spreadsheet in Excel
If you are Excel savvy, then use it to create a tracking sheet to record all of the information you would like to keep. Not feeling so Excel savvy? Then click here to download a blank copy of mine. The idea here is that you create a form in Excel, and then you can either keep it updated on your computer. or you can print it and just use it as a form- whichever you prefer. But it becomes the one place where you record all of your information about doctor's visits, follow up notes and illnesses. i prefer to do a separate tab (page) for each child. And I added tabs for Steve and I too…. since it wouldn't be a bad idea to track our info either!
You Don't Necessarily Need to Re-Create Your Entire Medical History
I decided that I wasn't trying to go back and make a list of every doctor's appointment each child has had since baby-hood, but just a list of the most recent appointment with each doctor that each child sees, and all major illnesses, hospital visits, etc. I also decided that this was not going to be the place where I recorded all of their immunizations, because the printed forms that I receive from the pediatrician's office already contains all of that information. And my kids are getting past that “need a ga-jillion shots each year” phase. However, if I were parenting an infant or toddler, I might include this on the spreadsheet as well.
Keep notes on where you need to send copies
I know our school nurse likes to have a copy of each year's physical on file for each of my children. For kids attending summer camp or sports programs, physical forms also need to be filed for those activities. Haivng a checklist on your spreadsheet helps you to remember whether or not you've taken are of this:
Have a good filing system for medical paperwork and insurance information
Usually when you come home from the doctor's office, you'll have a paperwork from that visit. For pediatrician's visits I usually come away with a medical report listing all of key measurements from that visit and an up to date immunization record. When I return from the dentists, I also have forms that I will need to file to make our insurance claim. It is important to have a good filing system to hold all of this paperwork, and a process to make sure that you remember to file the claim and follow up on payment of that claim.
For me, I keep folders for each child that holds their medical records, but all insurance claim info and follow up is filed along with my bill paying papers, so that I work on it when I work on our household finances (twice monthly).
So do you think that putting together a medical tracking sheet would be helpful to you and your family? Do you have another way of doing this? Please leave a comment and share!