Personal Medical Record
I strongly encourage my patients to create and maintain their own personal medical record.
Having your own personal medical record can improve the quality of your medical care and can help minimise any stress that sometimes accompanies the experience of receiving medical care. It is particularly useful to take your personal medical record to appointments with specialists other than myself or to hospital casualties if you ever have the need to go there urgently. The immediate availability of the valuable medical information contained in your record can be of great assistance to the doctors trying to care for you. Providing this information in your record in these circumstances will also save you from having to answer difficult questions which may be a welcome relief, especially if you are feeling unwell or anxious.
You may rightly expect that in the situations above your doctors would and should have adequate access to your medical records without you having to provide your own personal copy. Unfortunately, this is not always the reality. Unfortunately, retrieving copies of medical records from hospitals and doctors' surgeries is sometimes frustratingly slow and difficult, especially with the new privacy laws.
Because your heart is so important in keeping you alive and well, information about your heart is an especially important part of your medical record. A lot of the illnesses or operations that you might be subjected to may place a strain on your heart. Therefore arming your doctors with information about your heart can help them protect you.
Your own personal medical record can also be a useful tool in helping you understand your health and helping you deal with any health issues that may come up. It may be a useful tool in explaining your medical condition to interested relatives or friends if you choose to do so.
My staff and I will assist you in creating and maintaining your personal medical record. Once we have dealt with the problem that brought you to me as well as any other heart related problems that may have turned up, I will send you a summary of the state of your heart health which I term your "Cardiovascular Medical Record ". I encourage you to place the summary in your “Heartmed” folder which my secretary will supply with after your first visit. This then becomes your personal medical record. Also, after each heart test you undergo with me, I write a report and will send you a copy for you to place in your folder. Of course I also send this information to your doctors. After each of your visits with me, I write a letter which includes an updated summary and send this to your General Practitioner and to any other interested doctors you may have. Similarly they all receive a copy of your heart test reports.
You may have or may in the future received copies of letters from other doctors and other test results. I encourage you to keep all these also in your personal medical record.
Diet, Exercise, Vaccinations & AAA Screening: For all men aged > 60 years of age who are siblings or offspring of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms and for men 65-70 years of age who have ever smoked, I recommend General Practitioners arrange a formal abdominal ultrasound through a Radiology or Vascular Surgery Imaging service to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysm, as this has been demonstrated to reduce mortality (transthoracic echocardiography, though of some utility in this context, is not sufficient to exclude abdominal aortic aneurysm due to technical limitations).
Atherosclerotic Peripheral Vascular Disease Symposium II: Executive Summary Circulation. 2008;118:2811-2825
When you arrive for your subsequent consultation, reception staff will ask you to fill out another questionnaire (short). This is to update Dr Nelson on any developments since your last consultation which may be of importance in regard to your cardiovascular health. Please complete and hand back to reception staff. For Morisset site please hand subsequent questionnaire to Dr Nelson at the beginning of the consultation.
It is important that blood pressure is measured properly. This involves the patient sitting quietly for 5 min immediately prior to the measurement. At this practice we will ask you to sit quietly in our waiting room for 5 min and then, with your permission, one of our staff will check your blood pressure. For reasons of privacy, our staff member will not ordinarily state out loud what the actual reading is.
Ordinarily Dr Nelson will discuss your blood pressure during your consultation. If you would prefer to have your blood pressure checked in complete privacy, for Wahroonga please notify our reception staff at the time of your appointment and they will arrange for you to sit quietly in the examination room for 5 min and then they will come and check your blood pressure there.
For Morisset, please notify our reception staff in advance by telephone on 9487 6377 or 9487 7042so that special arrangements can be made.
Please be aware that the action of getting up and walking to a different room may alter the blood pressure, so it is necessary that the patient remain seated in the same chair quietly for 5 min immediately prior to having their blood pressurechecked (whilst continuing to remain seated in the same chair).
Please also be aware that someone talking to the patient whilst they are having their blood pressure checked may also alter their blood pressure. Therefore staff will not speak whilst they are checking your blood pressure.
Please also be aware that if the patient talks whilst they are having their blood pressure checked, that this may also alter their blood pressure, therefore we recommend that you do not talk whilst you are having your blood pressure checked.