Family Health

How to Create Your Family’s Health History Log

Feb 19 • 2016

Having an accurate portrait of your family’s health history can help you identify the best steps to minimize your risks for potential diseases that run in the family. It can also be extremely beneficial for your doctor to reference in order to search for patterns, make suggestions for lifestyle changes, and even better diagnose your symptoms (especially in addition to your electronic health record). So how do you put together a complete health history log? We’ve outlined the process in a few easy steps.

Compile the Relevant Health Information
Many people don’t realize how much information should be included in a family health history log. Oftentimes they skip pertinent facts that may end up being helpful in an emergency situation. Pull together details on each of your family members for the following:

  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications and their dosages
  • Supplements and their dosages
  • Any chronic illnesses and when they were diagnosed
  • Allergies to drugs
  • When immunizations were received
  • Medical tests and screenings you’ve had in the past
  • Dates you spent in the hospital and the reasons why
  • Any hereditary diseases that your family has

Avoid listing minor illnesses that you or a family member have had in the past as this information is not as important.

Get Organized
Once you have all of the health information compiled, organize it in a way that works best for you. Whether you choose to list things chronologically for the entire family, break it out by each individual person, or any other method, whichever option you choose should be used throughout the entire healthy history log. Not only will this help you to easily reference things on your own, but if there is an emergency and you need to direct someone else to find that information, it will not be difficult to do so.

Choose Your Medium
Do you want to write the information down in a notebook or would you prefer to keep it all on your computer? If you want to go the digital route, consider printing out a few copies and make sure you back up the document so you don’t have to worry about losing it if your computer were to crash. By having physical copies of your health history log on hand, you can also feel secure if someone else needs that information, such as a babysitter or a doctor.

Double Check for Accuracy
Making sure everything in the log is as accurate as possible is extremely important. Include any and all details and be as specific as possible. Avoid using shorthand or abbreviating in any way so you or someone else doesn’t have to guess what you meant later on down the line.

Does your family have a health history log? What tips do you have for others looking to create one?