How to Love Medical Records

May 12, 2011 Kyron No Comments

A few years ago I wrote a piece about Medefile. As a matter fact it was probably one of the first pieces I did on this blog (January 2008). Medefile is a fee based service which helps gather medical records, digitize, organize and store them online – giving you access to these records 24/7/365, anytime, anywhere. This past week when Katherine was hospitalized, I was reminded of just how happy I am we continue to use this service! I felt I should share with you again just how beneficial this service can be to not only caregivers of chronically ill or older people but incredibly relevant to those of us who parent special needs children – especially those of us who have children complicated medical issues.

This past week, a major piece of making decisions  for Katherine and how the doctors were evaluating her tests results was made so much easier in no small part because of Medefile. I was able to get doctors instant access to prior blood work results, prior CT scans, prior MRI’s, prior EEGs and give these new doctors a chance to look at the new test results in a different way. They were shown what was her “normal”, her baseline and from there we could make informed decisions about her current medical care. I used my iPhone to pull this information for the doctors. I could have easily done it on my iPad or laptop if I had them available at the time. More importantly there are options available to get the doctors records (if you aren’t as overconnected as I am). Medefile can fax records to your doctor. You can also use the USB “MedeDriveTM” that stores all your records on a thumb drive medical professionals can use to access information. There is also a wallet card which allows medical professionals emergency access right from the website.

Medefile has a very easy to use website interface that guides you through the process of entering:

  • General information (height, weight, blood type)
  • Emergency contacts
  • Doctors
  • Hospitals
  • Surgeries
  • Pharmacies
  • Family History
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Medical conditions
  • Insurance

Medefile then goes out and contacts the doctors and hospitals, gathering all of your paper records  electronically – doctors notes, x-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, blood work – you name it everything related to that person’s health history – transforms them into digital images and categorizes them so that they’re searchable.

There are a number services within Medefile that we don’t currently use, but  I can see the benefit of them as Katherine transitions into adulthood.

  • MedeMinderTM – this could be great for an adult with intellectual deficits and medical needs who was being transitioned towards further independence. You program doctors appointments as well as times to take medication and phone calls are placed day or night with reminders that actually have a “real person” speaking them. A medication log on keeps track of all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. This is an add-on service in addition to the base membership.
  • Healthcare Calendar - enter your doctors appointments your refill prescription reminders it’ll send you an e-mail reminder to help you maintain your regimen.
  • MetaDriveTM - A flash drive which can plug into USB port on a PC (I am not certain it works on a Mac). It carries everything that is online in your Medefile account and allows emergency personnel to view immediately after plugging it in. It would easily go onto a keychain and it it’s clearly marked to show that it has medical information.
  • Emergency Calls - Another great piece of the service that gives me some added comfort is that if Katherine were to have a medical emergency while she wasn’t with me, the medefile card she carries in her purse could give someone a number to call and Medefile would activate calling Katherine’s emergency contacts.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Tools – These tools allow you to track Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Weight/Body Mass, Kidney Health, Diabetes Management, and Prostate Health. It graphs your data, comparing it to your previous data and helps you keep track of your progress and then identifies and helps you react changes that may be happening.
  • MedeMobileTM – of course I kind of talked about the MedeMobileTM at the beginning of this post. It gives you access to your medical records right from your cell phone makes things way easier in cases of emergency
  • Vital Documents - vital document storage is one that I’ve only recently started using. While Katherine doesn’t have a living will or advanced directives (who has those things at age 19) what I do have on file there is her guardianship papers. This is flagged and says in big CAPITAL LETTERS that she is a person who is under legal guardianship. Medical personnel will know that she’s not capable of making her own medical decisions and will know they should be locating me as her guardian.
  • MedeView will allow you to grant read-only permission (meaning they can’t go in and change medical information but they can look at the information) to individuals – family, careworkers who might need to be privy to your child’s information with.  This could be a great idea for respite care workers, independent living facilities, or even grandparents while you’re having a well deserved vacation without the kids (hey! A girl can dream can’t she
  • BRAND NEW – EDUCATIONthe brilliant minds at Medefile have figured it out! Education records – especially for those of us who have kids under IEP’s are VOLUMINOUS! Medefile will now go out and collect education records just like they do medical records. Simply provide them with the information on your child’s various schools and they will do the work for you. I don’t actually know how long this has been available but it’s fairly recent. This alone could have saved me probably 3 boxes in my garage and hours scouring records to make certain I had everything the school did. AMAZING!

Medefile is probably not for everyone. The premium plan annual fees currently run $249 a year. For Katherine and her multiple issues and the volume of records I personally think it’s a bargain (and now with the ability to have them gather the educational records electronically to me that’s a no-brainer) however at this point, I wouldn’t purchase it for my son. His medical records are pretty minimal at this point. That being said you don’t need to have complex catastrophic medical needs to make a Medefile membership worth it’s weight in gold. Now that I live further away from my parents. I really think this would be a great service to use with them, so that I can keep up with how they’re doing and better help them manage their own healthcare. You don’t need to have a catastrophic or complex medical needs to make the service indispensable but it does have to make financial sense. If you have a child with special needs, there’s a really good chance you’ll see how it makes sense from a management standpoint. It really changes your ability to get control over your child’s medical care (and now his education as well!) to make sure that the various specialists have all the information available at regular visits to make sure that nobody’s doing things that counteract with the things another doctor is doing.

I feel Medefile has been ahead of the curve consistently since arriving on the scene in 1998. It gives you the control. It empowers you the patient, or the caregiver in my case, to organize information, to be on top of it all and to be prepared for any medical eventuality.
medefilelogo How to Love Medical Records

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  1. Resolutions, Reorganizations & Medical Records
Categories : Medical, Services

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