The Importance Of A Medical History Form

It is so important to keep an updated medical history form on hand at all times. I’ll give you a case scenario.

You arrive at the hospital ER with your loved one. First you’re stopped at patient access where you have to provide all of your insurance and physician information. From there you give your health history to the ER nurse, and sometimes the doctor will even have you to repeat it (depending on the line of communication between the hospital staff). Then you arrive on the floor, and it’s time for the hospital admission and you’re asked the same questions again. All you want at this point in the whole process is for medical care to begin. Now…the questions asked are essential to good quality care, but when you’re worried about a loved one the last thing you want is to keep repeating the same information. It can be redundant, especially during a stressful time.

Then there are times when a person comes in to the ER and family can’t stay until the patient is assessed and sent to the appropriate floor. This could be a problem if the patient is too weak to speak or has dementia. It impedes care. Many patients will already have a list of medications on hand when they arrive, but with your medical history form on hand…. you arrive to the ER or the main floor…. allow medical personnel to make a copy of your health history form while you spend time with your loved one. Any information that they need they can obtain from the health history form that you provided them with. Basically with the exception of a few more questions all that remains is the primary reason for the hospital visit, any tests that need to be done and the head to toe assessment. Working as a medical nurse for over ten years, I have come to learn that having a health history form can make the world of difference.

Your medical history form should include (but does not have to be limited to the following) name, address, emergency contact, any allergies, insurance information, brief medical history, surgeries, any current medications, flu and pneumonia information, advance directive, living will, and primary physician information. This is enough so that medical personnel can properly and quickly begin to facilitate care.

It takes a little time to prepare a good thorough medical health history form but the end result and your peace of mind will make any time spent well worth it. Once you complete your medical history form put it in a safe place (one you will remember) and then be comforted in the fact that should the time present itself you will have all of the information needed to quickly begin care for your loved one.