Tips To Organize Your Medical Information

Caregiver & Patient Support

October 19, 2017

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, and keeping track of appointments, medications and medical paperwork can feel like a part-time job. One thing you can do to take control of your circumstances is to organize your medical information. Once you take some time to get organized, you may feel empowered to tackle another step on your path to wellness.

Types of Information to File
While this is not an exhaustive list, here is a good starting point of things you will want to keep and organize:

  • Contact information for all health care providers and a listing of their roles.
  • Test results
  • Medical bills and insurance claims
  • Pharmacy printouts
  • Personal and family medical history
  • A log of doctor’s visits with notes and/or questions to follow up on
  • Getting Organized
    Hard copy or digital? How you choose to organize your information will come down to personal preference. One thing to consider, though, is to make sure your information is accessible to a caregiver. For those who prefer hard copies, you will want to designate one place to store all of your information: a three-ring binder, an accordion file or a filing box/cabinet. For those who prefer the digital route, you may scan documents to save in a Dropbox file or Google doc that you can share with your caregiver. In either case, remember to keep your personal, medical information safe and secure. For paperwork you decide not to keep, it is always a good idea to use a shredder to protect your personal information.

    There’s an App For That
    There are many time-saving medical apps available for those who embrace mobile technology.

    iCANcer helps manage medical information by allowing you to graph lab results, log treatments and side effects, sync doctor appointment information with your calendar and access important cancer resources.

    Pocket Cancer Care Guide provides hundreds of questions in categories relevant to stages of your cancer diagnosis. Build lists of questions to use when talking to your doctor or nurse, then link doctor appointments to your lists and automatically add it to your calendar. Finally, record and playback your doctor’s or nurse’s answers to your questions. The app also allows you to explore an extensive glossary to learn more about medical terminology your doctor uses. Click here for a list of additional apps you may find helpful during your cancer treatment.

    Taking some time to get organized early on in the process will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and make you ready to take the next step in your road to recovery.