My husband and I both work full time, so scheduling doctor appointments can be somewhat of a challenge. Typically we’ll schedule well-visits at the same time due to limited time constraints. It’s safe to say neither of my kids enjoy receiving vaccines and get a little scared and nervous about their shots. My husband took the kids to their 5 and 3 year old well-visits and was told the vaccines they would be receiving, followed by a quick form with an X on it to sign prior to administering shots. This scenario wasn’t any different than past visits. Only the problem this time was that the office mixed up two little girls and my daughter received vaccines meant for someone else.
Now before you go ahead and say well you should have read the forms more carefully, we agree. Somehow my child’s name and DOB ended up on a form with shots required for another patient. My child received the wrong vaccines, vaccines she was administered last year and was not currently due for.
We learned a valuable lesson and thankfully one that did not come with adverse side effects or harm to our daughter.
We placed blind trust in our pediatrician’s office and believed in the medical care they provided. That trust has since been broken and done so unapologetically.
I don’t want to turn this into a heated debate on vaccines and whether or not they’re safe. I want this to be a learning experience for all parents. Parents who believe their pediatricians and doctors have it all together. Reaching out to different mom support groups, I learned that, like myself, not all parents keep their own records and know what shots are due and when. We do take home paper forms that get tucked away in a file box, never thinking to take them to the next office visit. It’s time to put a new plan in place. As parents, it’s our job to keep our children safe and be their advocates. We cannot solely rely on a medical professional.
How to Keep Track of Medical Records
1\\ Keep detailed notes in a notebook that you take to every visit.
If you choose the paper route, keep a notebook that you’ll take along to each and every office visit. Record notes while being seen and jot down important dates, dosages, medications and immunizations for each child. Take it a step further and research doses as well. One mom in a support group discovered her pediatrician gave the wrong dosing instructions to one of her twins, but thankfully she questioned it in time.
2\\ Go electronic.
Each well visit we leave with a couple forms stating basic height/weight checks, updated shot records, and other forms. Take photos of each form and upload to a shared Dropbox for you and your partner to easily access when needed. Change the file names to month.year and keywords for quick search (i.e. 6.18 Isabella 5 Year Shots).
3\\ Download an app.
Of course, there’s an app for that. Apps designed to stored medical data are actually very safe, requiring either a password or fingerprint to access and store locally on your device.
Apple’s Health app (Apple iPhone + iPad only)
GenieMD (Apple, Android, Web)
CapzulePHP (Apple iPhone + iPad only)
Storing data electronically can be useful for parents managing multiple children’s health and shot records and completing health forms for summer camps, school records, and health history forms.
I am not a medical professional and am not advising for or against vaccinations. The goal is to form our own opinions, do what’s best for our families and educate ourselves. Immunization schedules are available for viewing and printing on the CDC website.