Write Like a Doctor (Make a Detailed Medical Chart for Each Child)
A parent can never be too informed about a child’s medical history or current health conditions. That’s why it’s a good idea to establish an online health history for your child. Besides the obvious advantage of keeping good records about a child’s medical condition, an online medical chart can serve many purposes in a contested child custody case.
An online medical chart can be consulted prior to a custody hearing or a trial as a way of refreshing a parent’s memory about specific details – when was the child first diagnosed with lactose intolerance; who was the nurse that helped with the at-home therapy; what was the exact dosage of that pill that was prescribed to reduce the swelling? Such specifics can help a lawyer portray a parent as the one who is most keenly connected to the child’s day-to-day health care. An electronic medical history can be readily updated every time a child returns from the doctor or has a sick day from school; it can be consulted periodically to search for patterns and trends; and it can be printed out as a script for a lawyer to consult in examining witnesses or making arguments in family court.
An updated medical history for each child also empowers a parent with knowledge when dealing with doctors, and when trying to persuade the other parent why a certain procedure or medical therapy is justified.
Many hospitals and health care providers, and a number of internet services, provide online health care management programs. For example, the “Personal Health Manager” program used by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., permits users to list numerous family members and to chart each of their hospital and doctor’s office visits, to record each of their medications, dosages and other relevant details, to maintain a running list of vital signs and lab results and to print a report. Other programs permit users to monitor their progress in weight and fitness programs and can be customized for hundreds of diseases and ailments.
While keeping up-to-date health histories is a smart idea in its own right, a parent involved in a child custody case would be wise to maintain such records and to use them as a source of increased knowledge about their children.