Flip No. 29

Create a health record “résumé”

Develop a one-page patient health summary for complex cases.

By Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin

In the workplace, a résumé captures decades of career accomplishments, education, and significant events in a short, often one-page document. Patients often have to navigate between multiple health professionals during an incident and recovery or when they’re dealing with complex health concerns. Over and over, they’re asked to repeat information about their health: their health history, what happened recently, diagnosis over time. With a health record “résumé,” a patient could summarize critical incidents, outline allergies and major surgeries, list medications and over-the-counter or nutrition highlights, as well as other critical information.


  • Adam Brodsley

    Great idea. As I patient who has visited many different health professionals over my lifetime I have no record in one place and often forget my health history when asked (important for insurances as well). Fortunately I have no complex issues but I’m going to create my health record resumé.

  • Eric Benoit

    Love it.
    See if the HealthCard on #18 is a start on your idea of a “resume”.
    Any feedback would be great.

  • Hollie Holderfield

    When a patient has a list of their health history, it is very helpful to get a better picture of the patient. We should strive to teach patients to have a Resume of their health along with their current medications.

  • http://joannevalentinesimson.wordpress.com/ ValPas

    Great idea! I may try to suggest that as a group activity for some friends.

  • Jamie Trythall

    This would very much benefit both patients and health care providers. It
    is a daunting task for a patient to request their records and try to
    decipher what is important throughout the hundreds of sheets provided. A
    one page recap pointing out the necessities would be both a time saver
    and also empower the patient to feel like they are in the loop. Nurses
    often have this type of resource available when caring for someone so
    why shouldn’t the patient also?

  • Tracy

    This is a great idea! So much of a patient’s time is spent at an office visit trying to recall all of this information, it would be so beneficial to patients and allow them to spend more time with their healthcare provider at appointments!

  • Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin

    Thanks for the awesome ideas and comments everyone.
    I’d love to work on this another layer and maybe connect with a few of you via Skype to brainstorm and identify what needs to be on the resume and what a sample one would look like. If interested, would you email me? Thanks! ~ whitney@fliptheclinic.org

  • Judy Shoults

    I like this idea. I think it would work well in the chronic illness unit I work in. The unit’s patient population has multiple co-morbidities and often see a variety of medical specialists and experience unplanned emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Implementing a healthcare “resume” for them to carry among their personal items would alleviate anxiety about remembering all their medical history and lend itself to a smoother and consistent flow of healthcare.