5 Steps For Effectively Managing Information

March 28, 2024

Here, we’ll explore practical tips and tricks from people who’ve been through it too, to make things easier as you handle and organize your medical information to helps you stay in control and lower stress during the medical journey.

Step 1
Choose the method(s) that work for you in recording information. Are you inclined to take notes on paper, on your phone, or on a tablet? Perhaps a combination of both?

Your preferred method of recording information will likely influence how you structure the rest of your organizational system.

Step 2
Decide on the information you need at your fingertips. Consider what information is most crucial for easy access during appointments, such as your driver’s license, proof of insurance, prepared questions, list of medications, and emergency contact information.

Make a list. Type a list of your medications and dosages so you have it with you during doctor visits and tests. By creating your list on the computer, you can print it out before leaving your home. You can also write down a list of your medications in a spiral notebook that you take with you to your doctor visits to make notes.

Manage your meds. Use a paper or digital calendar to remind yourself of when to take your medications. Several apps to manage your prescriptions are available for your smartphone, but checkout reviews and recommendations from others before downloading them. If you need to track any sort of side effects for your doctor, make a note on the calendar and bring the calendar with you to doctor visits if needed.

Digital Pill Organizer

Pill Organizer

Pill Organizer

Keep a separate medical calendar with doctor, procedure, location, reason, status (paper work pending/ paperwork completed) and (results pending/ results returned).

Ask yourself what information can be set aside as long as it’s easily locatable when needed.

Step 3
Create personalized categories of information. Break down the information into categories and determine how to handle each one. Examples of cancer treatment categories include personal health information, appointment schedules, insurance and billing details, and legal documents.

Step 4
Break down categories into more specific information. Create lists of detailed information that fits into your chosen categories to keep yourself organized.

For personal health information, this may include lab work and test results, an updated list of medications, and treatment records.

Step 5
Develop a personalized organizational scheme. Visualize the categories of information you’ll gather and tailor an organizational scheme that suits your style. This might involve using separate binders for each category or scanning documents and storing them in a cloud-based application for easy access anytime, anywhere.

With the multitude of organizational tools available—both physical and digital—take the time to personalize your approach to sorting your cancer treatment information. This can help you avoid the headaches and stress of searching for papers and notes when you need them most.

Add in quotes from caregivers and patients

  • What is your method for staying organized with all the medical information?
  • What is/was the hardest thing to keep organized that you wish you had tips & tricks on? I.e medication organization, insurance forms
  • What tips and tricks do you have when it comes to keeping your medical information organized? (as it relates to: paperwork, scans, appointments, 
  • What made your appointments go smooth?

Tips & Tricks from actual patients & caregivers:

Methods for staying organized : 

  • Voice record your appointments
  • Voice record Zoom so that you can report back. 
  • Utilizing hospital online portal
  • Request a physical CD/disk and keep in a book for second opinions
  • Keep the contact information of the medical records office
  • Have one person be in charge of all of the documents and scans
  • Keep a medication list with you – Notes on Iphone works well!
  • Put everything on multiple calendars 
  • Keep a page or sheet with dates treated & what was done

“It feels like drinking from a fire hydrant and you can go back and listen just to listen not to be overwhelmed. As the patient you are not taking in all of the logistical information and it is easy to latch onto a single piece of information.” – Allie M.

Making appointments not suck : 

  • Sandwich ​​your appt days with something fun before or after 
  • Wearing certain outfits designed to make me feel strong
  • Do something physical before or after
  • Try and make your doctor smile and laugh – They don’t get to often “D.J. S