As many of you know, my daughter was born with a life-threatening illness. She’s an adult now and working at her first job in an urban city far away from me and her doctors. She recently had a bad case of food poisoning, which lasted a long time. We both began to wonder whether this was actually a more serious problem. We decided to schedule an appointment with her doctor to follow up. She took a day off of work and flew home.
Although she was fine, we thought it was important to make a plan if she ever got very sick again. Remember “preparation” is everything in healthcare. My daughter flies all over the world and often has to leave without much notice. What would happen if she had a serious problem while she was out of the country?
The doctor told us how important it would be for any doctor she saw to have her important health information about the surgeries she had as a child. Specifically, he said she should have immediate access to:
- The reports from her operations (operative reports)
- Any x-rays, and
- Discharge summaries from hospital stays
The doctor and I agreed that, although everyone talks about patients having a universal healthcare record that can be accessed from anywhere, this simply does not exist. He suggested getting the important records and putting them on my daughter’s phone which could be backed up in the cloud. Therefore, she would have access to the records from anywhere in the world.
Having immediate access to her important health records might be the difference between life and death. So taking some time now to contact the various hospitals where she had her surgeries, gathering the records, scanning them and putting them where we can immediately access them makes a lot of sense.
Tell me what you do to protect yourself from a health emergency when you or your children travel? I’d love to hear from you.
A great place to start gathering your health history is to download my FREE eBook, Easy Healthcare: What to Do First which contains a Medical Life List.
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