Organizing your basic medical care requirements is more than a fantasy exercise – especially if you’re traveling in a foreign country. And it’s when planning a trip abroad that the idea of “what if” medical emergency or accident scenarios move to the front of our consciousness.
However, it doesn’t really matter if you’re 10 blocks away from home or 10,000 miles from home if you’re unconscious (or conscious and rattled) and need medical attention. It’s like only being concerned about the deep end of the pool when anything over one foot over your head (or less) can be just as lethal from the standpoint of drowning.
Online Personal Health Records
We talked about personal online health records and their importance in the article Online Personal Health Records the Easy Way.
Here is another and perhaps less daunting approach that can give you a good measure of a safety – get you to first base and started towards covering all your personal online health record bases.
A company called miCARD has developed “the only physician-designed medical identification solution that combines a portable wallet card with a Personal Health Record”.
The company was founded in 2007 by James Kelley, an emergency physician, and his brother Michael Kelley, a website design and advertising professional.
The strategy is simple – what do you have on your person that would help identify your health risks to emergency responders – and where’s the best place to carry it?
Going to the wallet is typical and seems logical, but most of us carry little more than a license, membership cards, credit cards, a few photos, and in my case ATM receipts and very little cash. This doesn’t help me much in the ER.
According to miCARD, the situation can be improved greatly if you were to carry 3 small pieces of information: The name of an emergency contact or power of attorney, a list of your medical problems, and a current medication/allergy list.
“Our wallet card contains a succinct summary of your vital medical and contact information on a durable wallet card. It’s designed to be noticed by emergency personnel and we suggest placing it in front of your driver’s license in your wallet for best visibility,” said James Kelly.
“miCARD is intended to be noticed in your wallet, purse, or on your person by medical first responders and treating care providers. Unlike many medical records, the miCARD system is organized around only those key pieces of medical information most necessary during a medical emergency,” Kelly said.
A Medical Card vs. a Medical Bracelet
EMT’s look for a bracelet or a medical card in your purse or wallet,” said David Mezzapelle, Marketing Director for SilverCensus, the company that markets the miCARD globally. “But the bracelet really just alerts you to one issue; like the fact that you are a diabetic or have a heart condition,” explained Mezzapelle, “Our miCARD gives you all the critical emergency information right on the face of the card.”
“Everything the initial response team needs to know is on our one card. And on that card is listed the website where any licensed medical professional can get immediate deeper access into your records to view, for instance, your most current sonogram, EKG, MRI and CAT Scan,” said Mezzapelle, ” And they don’t need any proprietary software.”
Even foreign doctors or emergency response teams can view the most important information in read only view,” said Mezzapelle, “So if I’m in an accident in France, an ER doctor there won’t be able to view my private information, like my social security number, but they will be able to see the really important information that can save my life, like if I have a defibrillator.”
“However, a patient can give any doctor or caregiver access if they want them to manage, edit or update information on their behalf, ” Mezzapelle said.
I signed up for this card – it took me just seconds – and prompted me to THINK about just how vulnerable I am without this information accessible to emergency response teams.
Health Care Management both for home and while traveling
The cost is $24.95 for both the card and the online storage of your critical medical information. You can upload and edit your EKG’s, your lab reports, any legal docs you want stored (like living wills), a list of your medications, and write “sticky” notes that you might want to add regarding a medical condition.
I found the whole process very intuitive. Good job, miCARD!
What’s in your wallet may make a difference . . . between life and death
To learn more, contact:
Director of Marketing and Development
Mezzapelle is working with several hundred different associations, in the medical and non-medical world, who are rebranding the miCARDS for their own initiatives, including fund-raising.
SilverCensus is an unbiased senior living and health services resource where consumers are educated on options, facilities & rights. Our services are completely free for seniors and their caregivers as well as Hospital Case Managers & Social Workers who are committed to proper discharge. Clients include assisted living residences, rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, HUD developments & independent living communities. We also provide free VA assistance for Veterans and their spouses. Our Care Managers are standing by 24/7 at 888-776-1311 through the web at: SilverCensus.com