Organize Your Personal Medical Records for Emergencies: Old vs. New Methods!

Are you prepared to quickly access your personal healthcare records in case of a medical emergency, natural disaster, or simply for traveling away from home?

Do you maintain personal copies of your personal medical records at home?

Have you prepared your personal Medical Records Binder for use in emergencies?

“Old School” Method of Storing Your Personal Medical Records

A traditional three ring binder provides a convenient method of storing and accessing your current medical records. If you experience an emergency and need to rush to the ER, you, or your family caregiver, can grab your binder and go!

When you travel for recreation, or to consult with a medical specialist, take your binder along, even if you or your primary care physician has already pre mailed your records.

Keep records that are more than two years old, at home in a file drawer (except for operative reports; keep copies of all your operative reports in your current binder.)

All products needed to assemble a medical records binder are available through your local office supply store. These items include:

One three ring binder to store two year’s worth of printed reports (with the exception of your operative reports: include copies of allof your operative reports.)

Divider tabs to (separate categories of printed reports; lab tests, CT scans, Rx info, etc, plus all medical conditions.)

DVD sleeves for three ring binders (to hold all your CT/PET/MRI scan DVDs)

Sheets of business card sleeves (to store business cards of from all of your physicians and other healthcare providers)

Include these items in your emergency medical records binder:

List of names and contact info of family and friends for notification in case of emergency.

Your name and contact phone number(s) in case the binder is ever lost.
ealth insurance company name and contact info (do not include your personal policy number.) Photocopy(ies) of your health insurance card(s.)

Durable POA for Healthcare

Your updated medical history (resume)

List of prescriptions, over the counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements

List of food, medicine and environmental (i.e. latex medical gloves) allergies

Include printed copies of the following reports:

Laboratory tests, including tumor markers, current and for the last two years

Operative reports (all)

Pathology reports from surgeries/biopsies

CT/MRI/PET scan reports, current and for the last two years

DVD copies of your CT/MRI/PED scans, current and for the last two years.

Any other current medical records, pertinent to your health care treatment plan.

Organize all the printed reports per the separate binder divider tabs and slip the DVDs into the plastic DVD sleeves.

However, using a binder to store and carry your emergency records is the "old school" method!

“New School” Method of Storing Your Personal Medical Records

Scan all records, noted above, on your home office scanner. (Your local office supply store can scan them for you if you don't have a scanner at home) and transfer them onto a USB flash drive.

Storing your medical records on a flash drive is easy and efficient. All physicians use flash drives for storing and exchanging a variety of information.

These suggestions are helpful, not only to cancer patients, but to all patients and their family caregivers.

By maintaining your own copies of your medical tests and records, you can easily refer to them and will gain a greater sense of control over your medical destiny, especially in case of an emergency!

Articles posted in PMP Pals and on are written from the perspective of patients and their family caregivers and are not intended to substitute for licensed, professional legal or medical advice. Individual should seek counsel from licensed professionals regarding their specific needs. Copyright 2011 by Gabriella Graham/PMP Pals' Network/All rights reserved. Visit us on the web at