One of the questions I get asked quite often is:
With three kiddos, how do you keep it all together?
The answer: I am VERY organized. Probably too organized.
But, I thought I would share our own way of organizing medical and school information with all of you guys in the hopes that it may help other parents.
So here is our Kids Medical Notebooks & IEP/ARD Notebook
Each child has their own medical notebook. However, currently they share the IEP/ARD notebook. This notebook is quite simple. It contains all of the paperwork from each school meetings. I keep some (not all) of the progress reports regarding different therapies, but I keep ALL of the ARD paperwork. This helps me to look back and reevaluate goals and objectives for each child. It also helps me to prepare for each year’s meeting by being able to determine if we are accomplishing a goal or if a goal needs to be edited.
While we currently have just 1 IEP notebook, each child has their own medical notebook. Primarily, at new appointments, ER visits, or admissions, I carry the notebook with me. This alleviates the need to remember each dose of each medication [however, somehow I can still recite them all on demand].
Each notebook begins with the important stuff:
I include name, birthdate, family information, address, and favorite things. I want all professionals to view the child as, first, a child.
Then, I include specific pertinent information about that child. Fischer’s adoption records are kept in his notebook until all of his records are updated. Matthew has a seizure protocol for ER visits.
Following this, I include respiratory and nutrition information. A printed sheet is filled in as needed with information regarding each child’s needs. For example, Fischer’s current nutrition needs are available as are Matthew’s parameters for oxygen. This helps for all of us, including Mom, Dad, and nurse, to know what is needed and when.
Then, we have medical information. A page is created for each child’s care team. It includes all doctors as well as their office address, phone number, and fax number. From pediatrician to dentist, the information is available in an instant.
In addition, there is a diagnosis list for each child. It is much easier to hand doctors a print out of the diagnoses instead of trying to spell each difficult word! Immediately behind the diagnosis list is medical information is copies of test results containing diagnostic information. For example, a copy of the MRI report diagnoses brain abnormalities is available in case it is ever needed.
Located just behind this, a Hospital Tracking Form is included. This lists all hospitalizations and the reasons.
Then, we have medication information and schedule. Dosage, prescribing doctor, and daily regimen is all included in the Medications Tab. Right behind that is pharmacy information page.
The next tab is all about labs and tests. This section includes most recent lab results, test results from everything from an upper GI to and eye exam.
The next tab included therapy information. I list each therapist, contact information, and each child’s schedule of therapies.
Supplies and Equipment are next to last in the medical notebooks. Each DME company has a page with all contact information. Monthly shipment information is included as well. In addition, each invoice is kept until we outgrow that piece of equipment.
Finally, each child’s birth information is included in the back of the notebook. Because we missed the first 6 months of their lives, I keep this information in order to answer any questions that my arise.
The notebooks have been a labor of love for the past five years. We change and add as needed to keep up with the information we have. But it takes some stress off knowing that all the information is readily available. I also keep all forms on a zip drive in case we ever need them.
I use a mix of self-made Excel sheets and printables from various sits. Some of the sites I use are:
I hope this helps some of you get more organized and feel less overwhelmed.