An article about taking over control of your health information
Up to date health information that is easily accessible is of utmost importance for emergency physicians and is about taking over control.
After taking the acute history of complaints and a quick examination of the patient it comes to questions like “Are there already any illnesses known?” or “What medication do you take regularly?”
Most patients cannot provide these important answers reliably or at all, especially not in the case of an emergency.
Emergency physicians therefore are more than happy to receive any documentation, mostly printed discharge letters
from hospital stays or written medication lists. Firstly, the date of the document is checked to rank its “validity” in the light of its usefulness for the situation.
Very often, however, information found is outdated and only of limited value. Most recent changes in medication or a comparison with latest ECG results might be helpful to explain current complaints and therefore enable proper treatment.
One cannot rely on digital interchange of patient data in health systems, especially not between different sectors e.g. private practitioners and hospitals or when in foreign countries.
The best way to ensure that your health information is available wherever and whenever needed, is taking over control yourself!
Make sure that the information you provide is easy to find, easy to access, structured and up to date. A reasonable way to remember updating it is to connect it to other issues you have to care for regularly e.g. checking bank accounts.
An overextended account is not nice but no or an outdated personal health record is not wise!
Read more about World Medical Card