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We’re delighted that Barbara Bronson Gray, RN, MN has written about us on her blog “BodBoss.”

Have you ever felt tongue-tied explaining your health situation when the health provider walks in the examining room? Hard to put your life history into what entrepreneurs call an “elevator speech”?

If you’re like a lot of people, describing your current symptoms isn’t that hard to do. But when you want to offer some background information, or be sure the doctor or nurse remembers you have diabetes, or you had back surgery a year ago — or whatever — you can get tripped up. If there’s a long
list of issues, surgeries, diagnoses and medications it’s hard to know what’s most important to mention.

That’s why it makes sense to get your health history organized before it’s needed, whether for a doctor’s appointment, a visit with a specialist, or in case of an emergency.

You have a few options. You can write out a health history summary if you like, and bring it with you. But you may not want to carry a piece of paper in your wallet or purse, and, too, if it’s too long, it may not even get read. It’s also easy to lose or forget to bring along.

A better option for you may be to use a free wallet card or an iPhone app to help you store your key information and have it ready when you need it.

“It makes sense to manage your own information,” says Alexandra Yperifanos, founder of ExpressWell, Inc. She and Andrew Hill started the company – and created an iPhone app and wallet card system –  to help people organize their information and have it quickly accessible.

Years ago, Alexandra and her father, Nico Yperifanos, created a document to manage his health information. They summarized his critical medical history into one, easy-to-read page, a kind of “health resumé.” They used it frequently, asking doctors to review it at the start of any appointment. His physicians said it was just what they needed: clear, easy-to-read information that helped them  remember the key points about his situation or learn them quickly.

The tool was also designed to be helpful should you have difficulty communicating your health history, due to language challenges (when traveling, for example), or from  diseases and conditions that can affect your speech or ability to communicate, Yperifanos says.

“It’s a brief description of who you are,” she says. Information entered and stored includes, for example, blood type, medications you’re taking, allergies, conditions, surgeries and procedures you’ve had, the name and contact information for your physicians and emergency contacts, your height and weight, and the name of a family member or friend who knows you well enough to talk about your health status with a healthcare professional.

You can get the app on iTunes, ($4.99, or $5.99 for a version that allows you to enter profiles for up to 10 people). Just download it on your phone, fill in the information, and then, when needed, simply hand your phone to a health professional. A free wallet card is also available on the website as a back-up tool, or for those without iPhones.

It’s so easy to forget important information. Having a quick summary of your health background and the issues you face can help prevent errors and increase your chances of getting an effective and timely diagnosis and treatment.

Find out more at express-well.com.

Original story: BodBoss by Barbara Bronson Gray, RN, MN



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