When you have a baby, you'll receive that sweet small paper notebook (likely printed by a baby formula company) that you can use to keep track of your baby's measurements at each visit to the pediatrician as well as their immunizations. Cute? Yes. But an effective way to keep records? Not really. Especially when you have a large family! Here are some better ways for how to keep medical records for your kids!
Do you find that you rely on your doctor's office to keep track all of your kids' medical information for you? You walk away from each appointment with a print out of what was done- but do you have all of that information summarized somewhere in a way you can access your child's history when you need it?
For a long time, I didn't either…
Pediatrician: “So Mrs Rowley- on Spencer's last blood test, he showed an elevated level for Lyme antibody XYZ (insert medical-speak). Did Spencer ever have Lyme disease before?”
Me: “Uhhh…hmmmm. Well, one or maybe two of my kids had it… I think. I can't remember which ones though… Hmmm. (silence) Can you look it up for me?”
Pediatrician: “Well sure- let me scroll through his file.”
And I sit there for 10 minutes while he reads through office notes from the last 10 years. And I feel like an incompetent parent because shouldn't I know this about my child?
My favorite app- for how to track medical records!
One of my favorite apps that I use in many areas of my life is Evernote. Think of it as a digital filing cabinet where you can store anything that you might otherwise keep in a physical filing cabinet. I file copies of paperwork in Evernote, pictures, voice memos, and even web pages. I can store this information (called “notes”) in Evernote “notebooks”, so I can separate what I am saving for each of my children. And then I can use the search function within Evernote to look for anything I need- regardless of in which notebook I filed the note.
I love using Evernote to keep track of important information because I can both enter it and access it on all of my devices- my computer, my tablet and my phone.
So now, no matter where I am, I can access my kids' medical records and tell you exactly who in my house has had Lyme disease (it wasn't Spencer), who suffered from multiple ear infections as babies and what medications were successful in treating it!
And as I've said- I use Evernote is so many areas of my life- for my businesses, my master to-do list, records related to my house, receipts, and more!
How to use Evernote for your medical records:
I've developed a system on how I use Evernote to keep medical records for kids, and here's how I do it:
Maintain copies of medical records
I like to keep an Evernote notebook for each of my children that contains images of all of the paperwork that I receive from the doctor and the dentist.
Medical-related school forms that I had to complete for the kids- I always keep a copy for myself by taking a picture of the completed form and saving it in that child's notebook (in case the nurse's office calls saying the never received it- which happens to at least one child per year!).
I also keep a running “narrative” of their medical history- a listing of any illnesses they had, what medications they were prescribed to treat it, and any notes I made about the doctor's visit.
And what is awesome is when you make that emergency trip to the urgent care facility because your kid stuffed a pear cube up his nose (yep- another true story!), you'll have a copy of your child's last medical exam, immunization records, and health (illness) history on hand that you can access wherever you are!
How safe is Evernote?
Great question. Evernote data is stored in a data cloud, which is how you are able to access it from all of your devices. Evernote uses SSL-encryption to secure it's data transfer and storage- but let's be clear… hackers have been known to access encrypted data from many companies.
So be aware of what you are storing in Evernote. Don't use it to store ids and passwords. Don't use to store social security numbers or info that can be used to steal your identity.
You have to find your own comfort level of what you store in the cloud vs. in a filing cabinet in your home.
Aren't there other apps you can use?
There are definitely apps available that you can use to track kids medical history that are designed just for this purpose. But my feeling was why learn how to use another app for just one purpose- when I already use Evernote for so many other things!
You can also store medical information in the Health app of your iPhone– but I don't believe that it allows you to track for multiple people (just for yourself).
What About Paperwork Related to Doctor's Bills, Receipts for Co-Pays, Insurance Claims?
I like to keep the printed paperwork related to medical co-pays and insurance claims in a bin in my office and shred them at the end of the year once we receive a reimbursement and calculate any tax implications from them.
How do you prefer to keep your family's medical records organized? Printed or digital? Do you have an app for this that you love?
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