How to Keep a Medical Journal

How to Keep a Medical Journal

Maintaining an up-to-date medical journal saves time and ensures that all health care providers have the same accurate information read this post here.

Keeping a detailed medical journal is one of the best ways to remain organized and current on medical treatments and medications. Every doctor requires a list of medications, both prescription and over the counter, with every visit. Additionally, a medical journal includes important contact numbers that can be used by family members, caregivers, and health care providers.

Medications and Physicians in the Medical Journal

Medications and Physicians in the Medical Journal

The journal should be kept current as medications are added and deleted. Every journal should include:

  • Every prescription written, when it was prescribed, the daily dosage, and instructions (twice a day, etc)
  • Any over the counter preparations including vitamins and other supplements
  • Medical devices used such as a blood pressure cuff or a CPAP machine
  • The names of all doctors seen by the patient, including telephone numbers, fax numbers, addresses of the different practices, and date of last appointment
  • Highlighted dates of pending doctor visits and other medical appointments
  • Specific diagnoses such as diabetes, hypertension, etc
  • Visits to medical-related institutions like nutrition seminars, cardio-vascular programs, etc
  • Dates of hospitalizations including out-patient procedures
  • Allergies to specific medications

Having this information in a journal will provide a concise record whenever visiting a doctor. Even in cases where the patient is not new, medical personnel update their own records with every visit.

Insurance and Caregiver Information

All insurance information should be kept current in the journal. This includes primary coverage as well as secondary policies. Insurance identification numbers, found on cards supplied by the provider, should be kept in the journal as well as telephone numbers for the company.

Caregiver information should also be kept in the journal. Often, these are the same people listed on privacy statements that are empowered to receive physician information like parents, guardians, spouses, attorneys, or other designated persons. The same list of people can be noted as emergency contacts.

Other Information that might be Helpful

Other Information that might be Helpful
  • Living will information
  • Power of Attorney information
  • Food allergies and/or allergic conditions in general

Some medical conditions require dietary monitoring. Journals that include a daily-planning section can be used to record this information. Part of the journal should also include a section to record co-payments for medical services as well as mileage driven to and from medical appointments. This information can be used for tax purposes as deductions.

The actual cost of prescription medications need not be recorded. Most pharmacies will print an end-of-the-year summary of all costs relevant to medications for tax preparation purposes. Over the counter medications cannot be claimed on tax returns.

Keeping the Medical Journal Up to Date

The usefulness of a medical journal can only be measured by its accuracy. Thus, information must be kept current. It is also important to remember that the information is highly personal and confidential. The journal must be stored in a safe place and care should be taken when taking it to medical professionals.