Whether in an emergency situation or planning a routine check-up, remembering a few things will save vital time and the hassle of endless paperwork and help make the most of any medical visit. Keeping track of medical information and having it readily available can help patients receive more thorough, better quality care by allowing medical staff rule out potential underlying causes behind symptoms. It is important for providers to focus resources on new developments, rather than what has already been established.
The first thing most medical establishments will request is photo identification and insurance information. If the patient is covered under a spouse of family member’s policy, providers will need information about the policy holder. Therefore, it is important to know the date of birth, social security number, and employer of the primary insured.
To ensure that the provider receives the most accurate and complete information, the insurance cards are the ideal format to offer. However in some situations, such as third-party liability and worker’s compensation cases, there will be no cards available. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain records which contain information such as claim numbers and insurance adjusters as well as the necessary contact number for the company.
Once appropriate identification and insurance information is obtained, most providers will need to know what medications patients are using as well as their strengths and frequencies. To save time and aggravation, it may be beneficial to keep a list of medications in a wallet or purse. The list should contain all medications, including over-the-counter and herbal supplements or vitamins. It should also state the medication name, dosage, frequency, estimated time of day, and the purpose for the medication. The majority of time spent filling out paperwork is usually patients trying to remember the specifics of their medications, especially if there are numerous prescriptions.
Another part of medical paperwork which can be time-consuming is a patient’s medical history. During a stressful visit, such as an emergency, it can be difficult to recall exact dates of operations and tests. So, it is best to keep a record of those as well. Medical history records vary drastically from one person to another and may include dates and descriptions of previous operations, exams, shots, important diagnoses, or other pertinent information. These records should be updated and checked regularly for accuracy.
Maintaining accurate medical information will substantially decrease time spent filling out forms and also allows patients to be actively involved in their care. When patients keep their own records, there may be less risk of error and dangerous interactions. Complete and accurate information is the key to a working relationship between medical providers and their patients.