Monday, June 16, 2008
Are you helping an elderly relative manage his or her medical care? Can you quickly and easily get your hands on your own key medical information: immunizations, surgeries, medications being taken, any allergies to medications, doctors, blood type, etc.?
Trust me: This is important. You don't want to be sitting in a hospital emergency room filling in an admitting form for your sick relative and trying to remember what surgeries she had; was it the right or left hip that got replaced? What's that medication that triggered a bad reaction a year ago?
You certainly don't need a special product to manage this information. My brother and I kept track of my mother's information in simple text documents and spreadsheets that we e-mailed back and forth, and printed off as necessary.
But for some people a special product is helpful - so here are some options.
The HandiRecords Classic gives you a nice compact form for tracking medications, surgeries and other procedures, test results, contacts - and more. Ann Blanchard, who created HandiRecords, is offering readers of this blog a $2 off coupon; use code I17MGS on checkout.
The Jakoter Health Organizer comes in a 3-ring binder.
The So Tell Me... Medical Organizers come in five different editions (including a senior one with bigger print) and three different binders.
Online health records are a Big Thing now; there's Microsoft's HealthVault and Google Health (shown above), and also options like VitalChart [via Web Worker Daily]. Update on Feb. 15, 2013: Google Health has been discontinued. I'm getting a warning message when I begin to go to the VitalChart website, so I've removed the link to that site.
You can also use a number of different products to store your medical history on a USB drive. ICE Packet is one such option - it has an application to create your medical history stored on the drive, and the software is both Mac and PC compatible.
Jakoter has its own Health Tag and also offers the MedicTag (which requires Windows XP or Vista). Other options include the Medistick, which is multilingual. A simple Google search will show you many other options.