Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by Johna Jenkins, a nurse practitioner, and the co-founder of our sister brand A Plan for Health.
The one thing every family needs to have in their home is a medical binder. It’s a hub for all things health and wellness; a place to store important medical information.
I’m going to walk you through the basics to create a family medical binder. There are three simple steps. Break this up into a few days – gather your supplies and paperwork first, then put together your binder – or do it all in one setting!
If your family doesn’t have a lot of significant medical issues, one binder can suffice for the entire family. If someone in your family has health issues that require more organization, you might consider giving that person their own binder.
Create your family medical binder!
- Grab your 3-ring binder supplies. You’re going to need a binder. Our 3-ring binders were specifically designed for this purpose but any binder will do! You’re also going to need tab dividers, page protectors, and a pen or marker.
- Gather your medical papers and paperwork. We’ll separate them out next, but at this step gather all of your medical papers so they will be ready to sort and put into place.
- Create the binder sections. I’ve identified 5 key sections below that will help you easily sort and organize all your paperwork. This will allow you to easily access what you need when you need it!
Section for Each Member of the Family
You need a section for each member of your family, one tab divider page per person. Write the person’s name on the tab. If you are using the Whitney English divider tabs (that perfectly color coordinate with the A Plan for Health binder), there is a note section to list the date and item you place in each individual’s section.
Behind each person’s divider, you will want to include any and all information specific to that person. Here are a few ideas.
- A clear page protector with the Medical Organizer and Healthcare Visits notebooks inside — this makes them quick and easy to grab before appointments!
- Any physical forms for school, sports, or camps for your kiddos
- School or work excuse forms
- Lab work
- Visit summaries from any medical appointments. Usually, these will include instructions you may need to refer to later on.
- Procedure results for routine screenings like mammograms, colonoscopies, or vision tests
- Medication instructions (the paper they give you at the pharmacy) that give you insight into all the medication you’ve been prescribed.
Place a copy of your current medical and dental insurance information in this section. You will want to highlight certain sections for easy reference such as copays or deductibles. Consider placing a photocopy of the front and back of your insurance card as well. Any letters you receive from the insurance company (approvals, denials, need for prior authorizations, etc) can be added here too!
Expenses and Receipts
How you organize this section can vary greatly depending on whether you have insurance, what insurance you have, and how your insurance is set up. If you have one of our A Plan for Health Expense Tracker Notebooks, you can easily slip this into a page protector and track any expenses on its pages. Put receipts in this section as well — you may be able to write some things off of your taxes!
This may include Power of Attorney for Healthcare or a Living Will.
There will always be things that don’t fit neatly into any of the other categories. Keep these things here. This section is the “junk drawer” of the Medical Binder. An example of this may be the Poison Control Center phone number or any patient information leaflets.
After walking through these simple steps, you’ll have all your family’s important health and medical information in one easy-to-access place! Share below if you create your own family medical binder. I’d love to see it!