Monday, July 13, 2009

Medical Record Keeping and "New Symptom Log"

Keeping track of your child's medical records is a huge undertaking if your child sees a lot of specialists. I try to get copies of his records every 6 months. I write to the hospital and ask for certain dates of records. They charge you if it's over a certain page count, so it's good to keep up with them.

I try to keep the records filed by specialty rather than throwing them in a big cardboard box, which, admittedly, is where they've gone recently. I have an expanding file holder so I can put the papers in where they belong. Some people like to put their records in a binder, but I find that takes an extra step with punching the holes! Also, I'd need to have an entire binder on ortho, another one on uro, etc--they wouldn't all fit into one binder.

A new thing I've recently thought of is a "new symptom log." I started an Excel spreadsheet with columns: Date, Symptom, and Notes. I might add another column called Resolution or something like that. But this is really nice for keeping track of a new sign or symptom your child has.

My son recently started moving his neck in a strange way to the side, jerking it back and forth. He says his neck is "stiff." I opened the log, thinking this was the first time he'd complained of a stiff neck. But then I saw that there was an entry from a month before that he complained about a stiff neck after his PT class! I never would have remembered that, especially not the specific date it first showed up.

This log does make me feel like an obsessive mommy, but with the amount of strange things he has had--everything from tibial torsion to a lump on his rear end that turned out to be bursitis to a finger that stayed "stuck" that was diagnosed as a trigger finger--I feel like this symptom log is something good to have to keep track of the strange small things that might turn into something big but usually just happen to scare me half to death!

If you have any medical record-keeping ideas, post a comment and let me know!

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