As a child grows, they eventually will need to transition medical providers, especially if their primary doctor is a pediatrician. While pediatricians are excellent for the care of children and adolescents, they may not be best-suited to adult care, which can include specialized topics like reproductive health. In other cases, children who have been primarily seen by primary care physicians may not need to move healthcare providers, as a general practitioner is able to provide care throughout the child’s lifespan.
In order to ease the transition between healthcare providers, it can be a good idea to develop a ‘portable medical summary.’ This document is something that the child carries with them and provides to all of their medical practitioners, summarizing topics such as the following:
- What their medical conditions are
- How those conditions are managed
- What medications they are taking, why they are taking them, and when they should take them
- An updated list of medical care providers’ contact information
- Emergency contact information and parental contact information
- Allergies, dietary restrictions, and other health conditions
- Recent surgeries or medical procedures
- Insurance information
- Any communication barriers the child may have
- Health maintenance recommendations
This document provides a way to present the child’s medical history quickly, easily and comprehensively. It can be used by medical practitioners, emergency staff, and other medical personnel who are treating the child. Generally, the individual should carry this document with them in the event of an emergency and should take it with them to their appointments. Parents and children can develop these documents together to ensure the record is complete.
Health care transition planning resources and examples of portable medical summaries can be found here:
- [List] What Should I Include In My Portable Health Summary?
- Health Care Transition: A Comprehensive Guide
- University of Alabama Youth Healthcare Transition Toolkit
- A Parent’s Guide to Healthcare Transition: Medical Summaries and Transition Planning
- Items You Should Include in a Portable Medical Summary
- [Video] Healthcare Transitions: FAQs
- Health Care Tools and Checklists: Sample Forms and Medication Lists
- Sample (Simplified) Portable Medical Summary
- Healthcare Transition: A Toolkit for Young Adults