Personal Health History

I recently took a webinar that briefly covered health literacy- how well you process, understand and communicate your health needs. It got me thinking about knowing my medical history. Since we are getting ready to transfer care I thought I would update my current system to an in depth document to help me keep track of all the little details. I’ve made it available to you!

Be sure to make copies of all insurance cards (front and back) and put the copies with these documents!

 

What is a personal health history?

A medical history provides detailed information about your health. This can help identify risks for certain diseases. Many disease are inherited and having a written medical history can be crucial in determining risks, treatment and even what tests should be ordered.

It takes into consideration lifestyle, hereditary, and environmental factors as well.

Having the medical history wrote down can make things go smoother in case of an emergency. It can also help keep track of medications, diagnosis and treatments. A complete medical history can help care of elderly parents and can be a valuable record for children when they begin to make their own medical decisions.

 

What should be included?

Start current

Medical conditions

Medications, doses and schedule, include supplements and over the counter drugs

Current doctors, specialists and other health care providers

Allergies, including food, medications and environmental

Lifestyle factors including tobacco use, exercise, diet etc

Sexual preferences, include number and gender of partners and birth control choices

Insurance Information- include a copy of any insurances cards

Also consider having an Advanced Directive for Health Care and/or Living Will

Continue maintaining these records- Ask for a summary of each visit be sent to you, along with any test results (Buyer Beware! There may be a cost involved. Ask first!) Update medications when necessary and any other information that changes.

 

Past History

Past conditions and illnesses

Surgeries and hospitalizations

Immunizations

Lifestyle factors including tobacco use, exercise, diet etc

Past (Long term) medications, when, and doses if known

Consider noting previous care providers and their contact information

If you have extensive history, you may want to contact former providers for a summary of your treatment with them. (Buyer Beware! There may be a cost involved so ask first!)

 

Family History

Your parents and grandparents medical histories can offer some insight to your own health, including risk factors, hereditary conditions and some ancestry groups are at more risk for other diseases than others. In your history, include cause of death and age. Also include diagnoses (Like mother having a heart attack or paternal grandfather having Alzheimer’s).

 

A detailed history can take some time to complete. But is well worth the effort. I started keeping basic notes that I kept in my calendar when the A was diagnosed with peanut and tree nut allergies. Knowing what tests were ordered and what was discussed at previous appointments helped appointments go much smoother. I’ve updated my document and expanded it quite a lot. I’ll be working on filling it in over the next few weeks.

 

Download and print the Health History form. It is long- 9 pages.

updated 8-1-14 Added secondhand smoke and carbon monoxide detector questions Medical History Info

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