Thursday Health Thoughts- Organized Health Notebook Part 2

May 28, 2015

{Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.}

 I have shared before in the Thursday Health Thoughts about how I created an organized health notebook (which you can read about HERE!). Today I wanted to share with you what the different sections of that notebook are!

In The Front Pocket:
*many times there are questions that arise that don’t constitute a medical emergency but things that I want to discuss with my doctor at my next appointment. I keep paper in the front pocket and write down things that I want to discuss including all or any of the following: {I HIGHLY recommend this if you don’t already do this! It definitely creates a better doctors appointment and is one of the things that I suggest to have a successful doctors appointment!}
* new treatment ideas
* diagnosis terms
 * reasons for new/worse symptoms
* any other ideas

1st Section: Introduction
* diagnoses (including date of diagnosis and name of doctor who diagnosed)
* how the diagnosis affects me personally (I suggest this because even with the same diagnosis every person is different so this is important to include)

2nd Section: Doctors Information
* I have a separate sheet for each doctor that I see. Each page has the doctors
   contact information including address, number (phone and fax), and the nurses information. {Make sure to know the nurses information! I usually talk more with the nurses then the doctors!} 
* During each doctors appointment I put notes on that specific page about what
  was discussed {This is especially helpful if you have a team of doctors so that you can keep track of all of your information!}

3rd Section: Medication Information
* Pharmacy Contact Information {phone numbers, fax numbers, and pharmacist names} for each pharmacy I have (I have shared this before in a financial resources post, but sometimes it is beneficial to have a couple of different pharmacies!)
Medication information and list along with dosage and reactions that I have to
  each prescription
* Since my insurance reimburses me for some of my prescription costs I put blank Subscriber Health Care Claim forms in this section also so they are easy
  to find (look at "in the back section" about envelopes/stamps)
* Previous medication that I have taken is in here (along with what it was used for and dosage) on a list

4th Section: Hospitalizations and Surgeries
* Surgery Information (including dates and hospital information)
* Hospitalizations (including dates, symptoms, diagnosis and hospital
5th Section:  Procedures, Tests, and Results
* Many times chronically ill and seriously ill patients have numerous testing done. Because of this it is helpful to keep a chart that includes the test name, test date, what the test was for (if specifically known), results, and information of where tests were done and what doctor ordered the test
* I always ask for a copy of all test reports and I put these in this section also

In the Back Section:
* I keep a health journal of each day so that I can always have a “big picture”
   (very important with chronic illnesses!)  This has also helped me if doctors have specific questions and I can quickly reference what the last days, weeks, or months have looked like!
* In this back section pocket I also keep several blank envelopes and extra stamps so that it
     is easy to mail things out.

I hope that y'all find this helpful! This health notebook has been such a huge resource to me in this journey! Do you use a health notebook? I would love to hear how you organize yours! I hope y'all have a wonderful Thursday! 


  1. Oh goody! How far back do you keep information? Should I just start from here forward, or get medical records for the past year, 2 years, 5...?

    1. Hey Katie! :) Thanks for stopping by! :) That is a GREAT question! Since the issues that I am dealing with now have roots as far as 4-5 years back I do have some of those records in my notebook. Otherwise I just keep records for the last 1-3 years. In order to "streamline" a bit another thing that I do is if I have a test re-done I get rid of the old test records. {ie. lab work, x-rays, etc.}

      When I first started trying to figure out a good organized system for me my notebook was a 4 inch binder. LITERALLY. I could hardly carry it. hahaha. I eventually have tailored it to a 1 inch notebook to fit my particular needs. I have heard of other people keeping all of their paperwork for up to 5 years in their notebook and keeping all of their tests (even ones they have re-done). For me I was able to let some of that go over time but I think you have to figure out for you what is most necessary. And some health issues (like mine) require more paperwork while others don't. I would start where you are at now. If you feel like you are missing important information then you could ask your doctor for that.

      Somethings (like insurance paperwork and bills) are not in my final folder now. [Who wants to look at that all the time?? hahaha] And I also don't keep records of all of my issues with endo in my organized notebook. Instead I have all of those records in a separate notebook. I haven't had ANY issues since 2005 {PRAISE GOD!} BUT if I ever needed them in the future I can just bring out that entire notebook {which is not organized :( }.

    2. I keep the basics in my binder but with sensitive info - or things like (a copy of my ID or Insurance card to put on file) I keep pictures of each - converted to pdf in my dropbox or google drive account. This way I never have to hand these cards over - I simply email it to them & they have a high quality color copy instantly. I also don’t have to take pages out for dr staff to copy because - if they ever ask me for a copy of something I use my iphone to easily send them said page/s (or even my entire binder for my new pcp) 👍

  2. How have I never thought of this? lol

  3. Uh-oh...second try to post this; hope it's not a duplicate...sorry! I've added a link to this incredible resource to my HubPage about organizing with binders and creating a medical information notebook. You can see your link here:

  4. Great post! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.