Quick, Check the Freezer!

Quick, Check the Freezer!

In the hubbub of a medical emergency, could you quickly lay your hands on essential information?  Where do you keep your lists of medications and allergies? How about your advanced directive? A living will? Your power-of-attorney?

Well, thanks to a new initiative sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network, seniors and others can stash that critical information in an easily accessible spot—the freezer!

“Although it sounds kind of silly to store your medical information next to the frozen peas and ice cream, emergency responders recognize the freezer as an easy-to-find, universal location,” says physician liaison Stephanie Lesavoy. And having this important data in a centralized location allows EMS to lay their hands on it quickly.

The “Take Me to St. Luke’s” packet consists of a tough blue plastic envelope, a what-to-include checklist, and a colorful magnet for the front of your refrigerator that directs emergency responders to your paperwork.

It also includes a “Five Wishes” document that addresses the personal, emotional, and spiritual needs related to end-of-life care—not just medical practices. “It’s a good conversation starter and guide for those difficult topics,” she adds.

“Patients can also use the envelope to store their clinical summaries, which they can update every time they visit a St. Luke’s facility,” Stephanie says. It’s also a convenient place to store any questions you might want to ask during your next office visit.

To avoid confusion, only one person’s information should go into the envelope. Additional family members should use separate envelopes, each labeled with the person’s name.

“Take Me to St. Luke’s” packets are available to patients 65 and older during their Medicare annual wellness visit at their St. Luke’s primary care physician’s office.

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