Notes to My Family: Health Information

In this module, you will be asked to document your important health information and your history, including past illnesses, surgeries, medications, and allergies. The more detailed and specific you can be the better. This includes specifying diseases that have been in your immediate and extended families.

One of the most important discussions you should have with your physician centers on what type of care you want, measures you don’t want, and how you wish to be treated in the event of a serious illness. Your doctor is there to take care of you and manage your illness, but you need to inform your doctor of your preferences. This module of Notes to My Family can guide you, and/or the person you dedicate to make health-care decisions for you, to be a better advocate.

There are two forms referenced in this section: the Advance Directive and the POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). These are key documents that need to be completed with your physician and family members. Your local hospital can retain a copy of your POLST on file. Healthcare professionals recommend having a copy of your POLST in your car or displayed in a prominent place should an emergency arise. All of your emergency contacts should have a copy of your POLST. These forms should be reviewed annually and updated as needed.

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