It's no secret that I am a believer in owning and controlling your family's medical records. Whether it's searching through the past visit notes and finding inaccuracies, or using and sharing the concise summaries with care teams, there are dozens of compelling reasons to take control of your health.
CareSync was a sponsor of Health 2.0 in Santa Clara, California last week, and while 100s of people passed through our booth to learn more about what we do, there's one story that I can't get out of my mind. As I began to do a demonstration of the CareSync Plus process, I saw my new friend Cara's eyes light up.
Cara's family is in the prepatory statges to sail around the world for three years. You read that right. Her family is going to spend three years on their catamaran, traveling the world, celebrating their family, and sharing their good fortune with those who have less through volunteering and helping others. Her goal is to use this time, when they are all together, to be all together.
I got goosebumps thinking about it, it's such a cool story.
Cara knows that she needs to gather and store her family's health information, but admitted that the task felt overwhelming. After talking for a few minutes, she realized that CareSync is exactly what she needs:
- they'll be away from home,
- they will need access to past medical histories,
- they'll want to avoid unnecessary tests since they'll be self-paying in any healthcare situation they find themselves in,
- and they'll need tools to easily document and store any care that they receive on their journey, since it'll be hard (impossible?) to go and get later.
Away From Home
This is actually quite obvious, but if you're away from home, and away from your regular doctors, it's a big hassle to quickly get your medical records when you need them. Add in time zones, international borders, and a moving "address," and it becomes an absolute necessity to have easy access to important health information.
With CareSync, Cara enters her providers, digitally signs the authorization release form, and her CareSync rep will handle the rest. What felt like a daunting task becomes suddenly simple. Next...
Past Medical History
If Cara wasn't cool enough, she's about to get exponentially cooler. Having her children's past medical history was especially important to her, as both children are adopted from the foster care system, and both had health issues prior to joining the family. They'll be entering their teen years over the course of the trip, and Cara is concerned that having access to the records, particularly the mental health records, will be critical if there is an emergency.
Her CareSync rep is entering her family's collected records into her account, creating concise summaries for all past visits, and organizing the documents in her family medical record.
Avoiding Unnecessary Care
Being out of the country, most medical visits they experience will be out-of-pocket expenses for the family. Cara knows that being able to provide doctors with past medical information will help them avoid unnecessary care and save money.
Cara is able to share an entire health summary of medications, conditions, allergies, and more with the click of a button in CareSync.
Tools for Access
One of Cara's biggest concerns was having access to their medical information, with just an iPad in tow. Everybody has their own, but they need the ability to access and share the information when they need to. Additionally, she wants to document any medical visits they have, so that the information becomes a part of a comprehensive medical record. Recognizing that the information might be challenging to obtain in the future, she knows that documenting visits is her responsibility.
With CareSync, Cara is able to create task and to do lists, jot down notes from the visit, store pictures and documents related to the health condition, and record the provider's instructions with the built in voice recorder. It's all stored in her CareSync health record, linked to the specific visit, and accessible at any time. When they get back from their journey, she'll be able to share relevant information, in a usable format, with existing providers.
So, Bon Voyage, Cara and family. Thank you for sharing your time and your story with me. For the rest of you, even if your upcoming months look more like mine than Cara's, owning and controlling your health information can help you get better care, get more from your medical visits, and save money.
What are you waiting for? The next 100 people who sign up for CareSync Plus using the code BONVOYAGE will save $10.