Be a Safe Patient – Prepare a Personal Medical Information Record
Written by: Kelli Koch
CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, March 2, 2011 – Take a moment to consider what might happen if you were left unconscious in an accident and needed emergency medical treatment. Everyone from the EMTs to emergency room physicians would need immediate access to your accurate medical information.
In recognition of March 6-12 as National Patient Safety Week, Southeastern Med encourages everyone to take a few minutes to prepare an up-to-date medication and allergy list. In an emergency, this one little piece of paper could help save your life.
“Keeping track of your medical history and the medication you take is essential even if you’re healthy,” said Angie Long, Vice President of Clinical Services and Patient Safety Officer at Southeastern Med. “Physicians rely on your medical history to make an accurate diagnosis, and they can’t be completely effective without a list of all your current medication and allergies. An up-to-date and accurate medication list enables emergency medical personnel to quickly locate essential information to provide the appropriate medical treatment in a time of crisis.”
Luckily, you do not need to lug around a suitcase full of all your medical records. The best approach is to keep a wallet-sized card with all your important medical information right behind your driver’s license. Include basic information, such as emergency contacts, health insurance information, physicians’ names and numbers, and any allergies and medications taken regularly. And don’t forget to update the card after any medication change and post a copy on your refrigerator; EMTs are trained to check there in case of an emergency.
Southeastern Med will provide blank medical information cards for anyone to pick up at its information desk during National Patient Safety Week. The cards are provided by the Ohio Patient Safety Institute and can also be downloaded and printed from its Web site at www.ohiopatientsafety.org.
During National Patient Safety Week, take the time to compile your medical information. In the end, it can save your life.