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Friday, September 18, 2015

You Are Responsible For Your Health Care

You have an absolute obligation to help your doctors and medical staff provide you with the best care possible.  You simply can't get good care if you don't do your part.  Remember, you are your best healthcare advocate.

Here's What Doesn't Help

If your doctor asks you what medication you are taking and you tell her you are taking three white round pills a day, you are not much help.

If you are asked if you are allergic to any medications and you say yes, but you don't remember which ones, you are not much help.

If you list your prior injuries, but neglect to mention the concussion from the auto accident you were in 10 years ago, you are not much help.

It's Up To You, But It's Not Always Easy


Depending on what hospital or doctor you go to, your complete health records may not be available. So you, and only you, are the person responsible for getting the right information to the medical staff.

The problem is that as you get older and your medical history and lists of medications and allergies become longer and more complex, it's not easy to remember everything.  And, because the medical profession is trying to provide the best care possible, you may have noticed, if you had been to a doctor or hospital recently, that you get asked the same questions by different members of the staff.  You might think, "Don't these people talk to each other?"  But they are just being thorough and trying to make sure you didn't forget anything.

Even though it may be necessary, answering the same questions over and over again can be annoying.  To make it easier on yourself, write down a list of your meds, supplements, allergies, surgeries and medical conditions.  You also need to list all your doctors, your pharmacy and any implants you might have.  Keep that list updated and take it with you whenever you go to the doctor.

We Can Help

Medications are printed in alphabetical order automatically

There are a number of companies that offer a way to access your medical records online.  Many of them are very good, but we've found a common problem.  Your personal medical records often contain so much information, and much of it in medical terminology, that they get overwhelming. These online services can be useful if you give your doctor access to them, but sometimes it's more efficient to tell a new doctor that you had angioplasty in 2002, rather than have him search through 13 years of records.

So we created a simple tool to help you.  It's called SafelyMD.  It's not expensive.  We help you build that important list of allergies, medications and conditions with drop downs and an intuitive organization protocol, and we store it securely on line.  That way, you can easily update it any time you want.

You don't have to store a paper copy and try to remember where it is in your home.  Just print a copy before you go to the doctor, or if you forget to bring it, just log in with your smart phone when you are at your appointment and show the list to the staff.

When we designed SafelyMD, we included an emergency data card that could give EMTs access to your medical records (only the ones you want) from anywhere in the world where there is an internet
connection.  We thought that that part of the service would be most valuable.  But we were wrong.  Though the medical data card has saved a few people, where we really have seen SafelyMD prove its value is in the printable lists of medications, allergies, surgeries, medical conditions and other doctors that you take with you to an appointment.  It simply makes your records more accurate and the medical staff appreciates it.

Just to give you and example of how SafelyMD is relied upon by the medical community, after my own recent cancer surgery, I got a copy of my medical records (and yes, they were long and quite confusing to someone not in the medical profession), and in the list of my drug allergies I read the words I put into my SafelyMD folder, verbatim, describing my reaction to a particular medication.  The hospital staff had carefully read and took my SafelyMD printout seriously.

And You Can Help

SafelyMD makes it easier for you to do your part and get the best medical care possible.  Use it for yourself and your family, including your children and elderly parents.  You can also upload healthcare powers of attorney, medical directives and living wills to keep all the important medical-related documents in one location.

Just click here to get more info and set up an account today.
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