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Emergency Access to Medical Information

 

In an emergency, or when you see a new doctor, they need to know your allergies, medical conditions, long-term drugs, doctors, medical representative, hospital stays, etc. You can print and keep a page in your cars' glove compartments, your wallet, and/or online, accessible by a web address as described below.

 

Emergency medics usually notice a bracelet, so that may be best if there is something they need to know immediately. One company says 95% look for a bracelet and 68% look for a necklace. State laws may let them honor the bracelet without seeing a doctor's signature, if the state approved the bracelet issuer (links from American Medical or StickyJ or Caring Advocates).

 

You can tape a slip of paper to your driver's license or ID, to show allergies, major medical conditions, major drugs, name and phone numbers of doctors and your medical representative, with big enough type to read fast in dim light. Medics look for your driver's license or ID to find your name and birth date. They use these for medical records and billing. Paper can show more information than a bracelet, and is more private. If your phone is still with you and working, medics may find ICE contacts in your phone directory, but you cannot count on it. Here is what I tape to my driver's license:

Full Code, Name:

dob__________, Allergies:

Chronic conditions:

Long-term prescriptions:

____lb, Doctors (name+phone):

Emergency contacts (name+phone):

Web address of form naming contacts as medical representatives: www......

 

For some items medical staff need to see signatures:

  1. EVERYONE NEEDS THIS: Your signature letting your medical representative see your medical records and speak for you when you can't. Medical representative wording is free online; tell Medicare too.
  2. Your signature giving any instructions you think necessary (advance directive or living will). Most advance directives limit curative care, so many medical staff assume (without reading) that just having an advance directive in your medical record, means no curative care. So if you want care, directives are safer with your medical representative than in hospital records or online. States have formats for advance directives. Many people prefer to give their representative flexibility to use their own judgment.
  3. A doctor's signature forbidding resuscitation if that is your wish. See DNR/CPR pamphlet. (DNR or POLST-Physician Order on Life-Sustaining Treatment, or similar)

 

Everyone needs (A), the signed medical representative document.

      copies in the glove compartments of your cars and your representatives' cars will often be handy

      Online copies are accessible when you are away from home, if the web address is taped to your ID with other emergency information, or engraved on a bracelet.

      If your fire department suggests storing documents on your refrigerator, in your freezer or a medicine bottle, that will help when you are at home.

 

Some emergency services let medics use their phone cameras at an emergency (video) to scan a QR code (square dots which direct a phone to a website). QR codes are quick for phone access, but hospitals rarely have QR readers, and many emergency services do not let medics use their phone cameras at an emergency, for privacy reasons. So as much information as possible on a bracelet or attached to a driver's license or ID will serve more medics

 

PRIVACY: Wherever you store information, someone other than medics may find it (friends, car repair staff, security cameras if it is a bracelet, or sticker on the back of your phone or on a keychain). Your wallet may be a safe place, and inside your phone cover, with a note on the outside that it is there. You may not want to store true date of birth, address, or photo in the online file, which any medical person or hacker can read. Think about what hospitals will need. They will probably find your ID or health insurance card, so those do not need to be in the online file or glove compartment.

 

You can store documents online yourself. Two examples:

The link you get from either system is a long string of characters: a url, or web address, which goes directly to the file you uploaded. You can create a tiny url, print it on the slip of paper attached to your ID (above), and/or have it engraved on a bracelet along with other text. (If your local medics will read QR codes, you can get a free QR code, print it on your slip of paper, and/or have it engraved on a bracelet.)

 

Before you engrave a bracelet, or after you attach a slip of paper to your ID, Dynotag recommends asking an emergency responder to read it, to see if it tells them what they need to know. If the bracelet shows a DNR order, states often require the bracelet to be issued by an approved company, so medics recognize it and honor it (links from American Medical or StickyJ or Caring Advocates).

 

Company

Product

Access methods

Type website, then

Privacy

Reviews

Access copies of documents, like Advance Directive?

Dropbox

File hosting service, "Basic" plan has 2 gigabytes free, if you log in every year

Web.

QR code can be printed on a tag, or on paper (& laminated).

15-characters which are part of web address, so you need a URL shortener

Depends where you put it.

A+ BBB

Yes, you get a separate web address for each document, so you can organize any way you want.

Google Drive

File hosting service, " has 15 gigabytes free

 

44-characters which are part of web address, so you need a URL shortener

Depends where you put it.

 

Yes, you get a separate web address for each document, so you can organize any way you want.

TinyURL

URL shortener, free

 

You choose short address

Depends where you put it.

None

 

Etsy

Custom engraved medical id bracelets

Human eye

 

Front is visible; back is private

 

 

GetMyID

Bracelet ($6 and up).

Stickers ($9)

Tag ($43)

Web.

QR code.

Phone.

7-number code and 4-number pin

(example)

Bracelet: hidden inside.

Sticker: depends where you put it.

Tag: You can hide it in your wallet/purse or on a chain under your shirt.

A+ BBB.

Amazon 4

Yes, you can store documents for $24/year.

DocuBank

Wallet card ($55/year

$175/5yrs)

Web.

Phone.

6-number code and 4-number pin

Hidden in wallet

A+ BBB

Yes, documents are included in the basic $55/yr or $35/yr.

Universal Medical-ID (American Medical ID no longer offers new online files)

Tag, charm or bracelet ($27 and up) No online file for new US items after September 2018

Outside US:

Web.

Phone.

6-number code

(UK example)

Tag: You can hide it in your wallet/purse or on a chain under your shirt.

Bracelet: engrave inside or outside

A BBB

None in US. Up to 5 megabytes, no annual fee in Australia, Canada, UK

 

The following services do not store documents, such as Advance Directives

Dynotag

Tag ($25) or sticker ($7)

Web.

QR code.

You choose short name which is part of web address

Depends where you put it.

No BBB.

Amazon 4

No

SmartKidsID

Bracelet, Tag or image ($8) to print anywhere

QR code.

Phone.

6-character mix of letters and numbers

Tag: You can hide it in your wallet/purse or on a chain under your shirt.

Bracelet: visible on outside of bracelet.

No BBB.

Amazon 4

No

MyIDSquare

Tag ($43) plus $25/year after first year

Web.

QR code.

6-7-letter code

Depends where you put it.

None

No, only contact person for it

 

Other Comments:

 

You need to store everything yourself too, in case a company goes out of business.

 

MyIDSquare (and GetMyID if you pay $2/month) have a button when medics reach their sites, to send email and text to your emergency contacts.

 

Dynotag, SmartKidsID and MyIDSquare tell you the GPS location where your QR code was read.

 

Docubank stores your medical directive and medicine list, one emergency contact, medical conditions and allergies. You can also upload documents with any other information, like doctors, hospital, and pharmacy.

 

GetMyID is owned by Endevr.com, which used to be LifeStrength.com, which had an A+ rating from BBB. They have a video from the Corona CA Fire Department

 

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