Planning ahead and ensuring that accurate personal medical information is available for you just might save your life. Taking the time to prepare a medical portfolio increases the odds of receiving proper care should you need it while traveling, and adds peace of mind for you and your family.
Your medical portfolio should contain a list of the following information:
- Personal Contact – Provide a list of your family members, friends and any others who should be notified in the event of an emergency. Detail your relationship next to each name on the list and also indicate the order in which they should be notified. Consider designating one person as your SPOC (single point of contact). This person may then assume duties such as notifying the remainder of those on your list or gathering important medical, and/or legal documents.
- Travel Itinerary – Always carry a complete itinerary with you that includes all of your flight information, hotel information and appointment information.
- Medical Care Providers – Provide the names, titles and phone numbers (including office, mobile and home, if available) for all of your medical care providers. Include your primary care physician, who has access to your basic medical records history and information. Be sure to include a description of your relationship to each provider listed.
- Health Insurance Company – Provide your health insurance company’s name, relevant phone numbers (for general questions as well as approvals) as well as plan information, including your ID number and member number. Provide direct numbers if possible. Providing a direct number may save valuable time as you’re not navigating an automated phone system.
Medical Conditions – Provide information (that may not be apparent to a casual observer) on any physical conditions, memory, speech, visual, hearing or other issues you have.
Medical History – Provide the bare minimum information such as:
o DOB - your date of birth.
o Allergies - allergies to prescription and/or over-the-counter medicine.
o Surgery - information on recent surgery or procedures you have undergone. Include oral, facial or cosmetic surgery.
o Blood Type - note your blood type; should you need a transfusion, this information is invaluable.
o Medical Device- list information and locations of any devices (shunts, diabetic pumps, pacemakers etc.) you have.
o Medicine List – name all over the counter and prescription medication as well as any dietary supplements or herbs you are taking.
o Immunization List – if you travel internationally, include the type, date and description of vaccines you have received.
US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA)
UStiA is a national association of insurance carriers, third-party administrators, insurance agencies and related businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and travel assistance products.