7 Tips for Creating an Emergency Medical Plan
According to the CDC, nearly 136 million patients visit emergency rooms in the United States annually. In an emergency, having quick access to vital health information can be life-saving. Even if you aren't facing a severe medical crisis, organizing your health documents and records now will ensure that if something happens in the future, your healthcare providers will have all of the information they need right away. To help you prepare, here are seven tips for organizing your medical data and paperwork.
In an accident, informing healthcare professionals of your medical history can save your life. Knowing your diseases and conditions, any prior surgeries, and what type of blood you require are all necessary. Furthermore, it is essential to know your family's medical history as there may be diseases that the patient has not been diagnosed with yet but has a higher chance of being or that runs in the family. Accidents can be unpredictable, and having access to a patient's medical records helps healthcare providers understand their best course of treatment. This information is invaluable when treating patients in an emergency.
Knowing your allergies could save your life in the event of an emergency. Allergies can cause severe reactions, some of which require immediate medical attention. Medical personnel needs to be aware of these to correctly diagnose the issue and provide you with the treatment you need; even if you may not have life-threatening allergies, understanding which substances cause a reaction from your body is vital information for your doctor. This information will ensure that the medications prescribed in an emergency do not include anything you are allergic to, preventing a potentially dangerous misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment. For these reasons, being aware of your allergies and alerting medical staff is paramount in an emergency.
When you require emergency medical care, you must provide information about all the medications you are taking. This requirement exists because emergency medical personnel must avoid potential adverse drug interactions. They can ensure that you receive the best possible care by letting them know what medications you are taking.
Knowing and sharing your vaccination history is essential to ensure you receive the best medical care during an emergency. Vaccines protect us from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that can cause severe illnesses and complications. Keeping track of which vaccines you have received and when you received them ensures that healthcare providers have all the relevant information they need when providing treatment. Providing this detail also helps prevent unnecessary tests or treatments due to incomplete data. Up-to-date vaccine records offer doctors an accurate insight into what medical care is necessary for each situation. Hence, it's essential to keep them up-to-date and readily available. Staying current on your vaccinations is an important final step in protecting yourself and others from spreading illness and disease.
When you require emergency medical care, having your health insurance information on hand can make the difference between a smooth and timely recovery or painful financial consequences. Health insurance companies cover various medical expenses, so having this information ready is critical to ensuring that needed treatments are covered. Lacking up-to-date documents can also prevent timely access to high-end care options - failing to inform of an existing policy could force you into more expensive treatments or even invalidate altogether specific available options you may have had due to lack of funds. In some cases, if you don't present valid documents during an emergent treatment, those services might be refused altogether. It is always important to keep your health insurance information ready so that in case of an emergency, you ensure access to proper medical care without complications.
Having your advanced directives ready when you require emergency medical care can be a crucial decision for yourself and your family, doctors, and medical teams involved. It allows caregivers to provide the medical treatment that is best for you since it avoids any moral dilemmas regarding treatments. Advanced directives communicate precisely what should be done in certain medical circumstances and specify the range of remedies allowed. Not everyone agrees on how to handle end-of-life healthcare decisions, so be prepared with an advance directive eliminates an extra layer of anguish in a crisis. Taking the time to arrange and document your healthcare preferences beforehand removes all the guesswork of such a vital decision.
Having your emergency contact information available if you require emergency medical care is an important consideration. Knowing the person to be contacted in case of an emergency can speed up the process of providing necessary medical care, as the contact can provide vital information like current medication, pre-existing health conditions, and allergies that the patient may not know or be able to deliver due to injury or other health factors. It can also improve communication between healthcare providers and family members, keeping them informed about a patient's condition should their help or advice be needed. Therefore, access to this vital information is critical for medical staff and families in handling any disruptions caused by unexpected emergencies.
Bonus: Access Matters
With the tips outlined above, you are better equipped to create an emergency medical plan in case of unforeseeable circumstances. Your health information is essential, and having it organized will help you retain greater control over your well-being and facilitate healthcare professionals should they need to make well-informed decisions.
Remember that healthcare professionals will need this information, and there may be no one available to give it to them. Consider an app like Life Events My Health Plan to store the information and make it available on your mobile phone and web in an emergency.