The Nightmare That Medical Records Can Become
Last updated: January 2019
Our medical records are a very important part of our medical history and future treatment. This becomes especially true in the event that we have more than one medical condition and more than one specialist. Many individuals have discussed other conditions that they have in addition to endometriosis and some appear to be pretty consistent among sufferers. Additionally, there are studies being preformed to look into the various comorbid conditions. This adds to the importance of keeping a detailed copy of all of your medical records.
Ask for your own copy
A big step towards maintaining your own medical records is to request your own copy of your medical records from your doctor’s office prior to leaving the practice. You can also go back to offices that you have left and request your files from when you were a patient there. Some offices make you pay a $25 fee to print out the records, but it can be very useful in the long run, especially if one of your doctor offices closes down. After a doctor closes his practice or moves out of a hospital-based practice, records can be sent to storage unit and this makes it harder to get copies of the records.
There are many ways to keep your medical records organized. One way you can organize your records is to use a binder with tabs. You can have a binder per health condition and use the tabs for each doctor.
Why medical records can be a nightmare
When you are trying a new specialist, for whatever reason, they always need your medical records. These records are important because it allows doctors to see when certain treatments were done and what was the outcome. In the case of endometriosis, the doctors especially need to see any images of the laparoscopic surgeries that have been preformed on you or any cysts that had to be surgically removed. When a clinic is part of a hospital with multiple doctors, sometimes faxed records from other doctors’ offices can get lost. This can put your care at a standstill until the new doctor is able to get the records and review them.
In the event that you have a copy of all of your medical records, you can bring them in with you at your first appointment or consultation. At this time, the doctor’s staff is able to scan them all in for the doctor and there are no issues with trying to track records from various doctors’ offices.
I hope you can take the information that I have learned the hard way in the past and make sure you have a copy of your medical records, so that your future medical treatment is never slowed down due to doctor offices trying to go back and forth over sending and not receiving medical records. The last time I had this happen, the old office ended up sending the records from their office three separate times before the new doctor received them.
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):