After years of interaction with the health care system, a doctor recently told me that he would put our DotFriday symptom report in the patient chart. I had provided our doctors with a number of symptom reports over the years, and even though I was told that the information was valuable, I had never been told that the report would be scanned into the chart. This doctor, however, told me that the information helped his team make management decisions and it should be permanently recorded.
The “chart” is a patient’s medical record. It is held by the doctor or hospital, but it concerns the patient. I wonder if we need to shift the way we think about the chart and what information goes in it. All of the notes in the chart are made by health care personnel, which means that when you speak to a doctor or nurse it is not usually your exact words that are transcribed into the chart. Instead, it is that person’s interpretation of your words that makes it in. The doctor or nurse determines what facts are valuable from a medical perspective.
But what happens when that doctor doesn’t make a note of something that you thought was important? DotFriday reports are a way to communicate your data to your health care team in a way that gives your information credibility. If you have clear and consistent data that you think is important, think about requesting that a copy of your report be included in your chart. And keep tracking!