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4 Types of Medical Information Caregivers Need to Keep

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

Family caregivers in Palm Beach have an important job, and one of the most crucial caregiving duties is keeping track of their senior loved ones’ medical information. If you’re wondering what medical info you should keep on hand for future reference, these 4 types should be at the top of the list.

1. Lab Results

This information includes the results of urine and blood tests. If possible, try to keep your loved one’s results from at least the last 2 years. These tests show important information that can provide insight into the functioning of various body systems and the effectiveness of treatments for acute and chronic health conditions. It can also prevent a doctor from duplicating a test that was recently performed by another physician.

2. Radiology Results

By having copies of recent X-rays, CTs, MRIs, and ultrasounds, you may be able to prevent duplicate tests from being ordered. It can also be an important diagnostic tool even if new tests are ordered since they can be used as a point of comparison to determine if there have been any changes in your loved one’s condition.

3. Cardiac Tests

Try to obtain a copy of your loved one’s most recent EKG, treadmill tests, cardiac ultrasounds, and any other test for coronary artery disease or structural abnormalities of the heart. These tests often provide the basis for medical decision-making in elderly people whose symptoms are attributed to heart or lung conditions, and they can also serve as a point of comparison to determine if conditions like coronary artery blockages are worsening to the point they require surgical intervention.

4. Medical Discharge Summaries

Any time your loved one is hospitalized, ask for a copy of the clinical discharge summary. This information is more detailed than the brief summary your loved one receives at the time of discharge. The clinical summary is meant to be read by other doctors and nurses and includes vital information about the reason for your loved one’s hospitalization, diagnoses, treatments, and any post-hospitalization recommendations. The information contained in these reports may be difficult for the layperson to understand, but it can help your loved one’s primary doctor or other specialists plan appropriate follow-up care.

If you need additional help meeting your loved one’s care needs, turn to Home care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of in-home senior care Palm Beach, FL, seniors can rely on, and our caregivers can provide transportation to medical appointments, offer timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of tasks around the house. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, call 561.429.8292 today.