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Your Health Resume

Having organized medical information is like your health resume that can help your physician and other healthcare providers get a picture of your general health and can assist in proper treatment and care. Once you've compiled your medical history, keep the records up to date by adding to them each time you have a doctor's appointment, get new test results, or receive a new prescription.

Documents in your healthcare file should include

1. Hospital discharge summaries

2. Pharmacy printouts that accompany prescribed medications (In a study of patients taking blood pressure drugs, about 40 percent were unable to name a single one of their medications).

3. Test results (such as blood work, urine tests, X-rays, MRIs, bone density scans, mammograms and prostate screenings).

4. List of immunizationsAnd when visiting your doctor bring your current insurance card, a list of allergies and be able to provide a list of your medical conditions (asthma or diabetes, for example), a list of past procedures or surgeries, any medications (including supplements) you are taking and your family medical history.

Remember you need to be in control of your own healthcare information. Don't rely on online patient portals to store and organize your medical records. They may not be accessible in all cases and although some of the information will be there, it may be limited and not transferable between all facilities and providers.

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