Chicago neurodevelopmental pediatrician Dr. Alan Rosenblatt sees
a number of children with complex medical histories every day.
Through his work with patients and with the American Academy of
Pediatrics, he has discovered that a complete, detailed health
history is a vital part of creating a successful plan of
Rosenblatt offers these ideas on how to manage your child's
1. Keep a notebook. Although traditional spiral-bound notebooks and
three-ring binders are fine organizational methods, Rosenblatt
recommends an electronic notebook.
"Parents can keep their child's data online," he says. "A doctor
can access the patient's chart from his office during a visit."
In addition to recording health details online, the records also
can be downloaded to a flash drive, which are available even in the
form of a bracelet.
"Because of technology, health information can easily be kept
with the child," he says.
2. Request copies of everything. Take the time to request every
test result and file the information, Rosenblatt advises. Remember
to answer the basic questions-who, what, where, when and why.
Who did your child see? Where, when and at what time? Why was
the medical professional consulted? What tests were recommended or
completed? What were the results?
Because of privacy laws, sign a release when visiting a health
professional's office. This will protect you when requesting copies
of the consultation notes.
"I get the authority to send the notes to the primary care
physician and I ask the patients if they want a copy sent to them.
Once they receive it they can send copies to whoever they want," he
3. Update your child's list of medications and therapies frequently
and bring a copy with you to all appointments.
4. When appropriate and helpful, send your child's detailed health
summary to a specialist before the scheduled appointment.
"I typically send out a 12-page questionnaire for parents to
complete before the appointment, and then they can e-mail it or
mail it back to me. Parents often will attach documents. This
allows me to review the information ahead of time," Rosenblatt
5. Create a medical home for your child. "A medical home leads to
better integration of medical care for the medically complex
child," he adds.
Go to http://www.medicalhomeinfo.org/tools/med_home.html.
The American Academy of Pediatrics sponsors the Web site. You will
find links, resources and information about how to get started.
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