Using a Care Binder to Stay Organized

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Parents: In caring for your child with special health needs, you may get information and paperwork from many sources. A Care Binder can help you organize the most important information in a central place and share key information with members of your child’s care team.

Young adults: You may get information and paperwork from many sources related to your health and care. A Care Binder can help you organize the most important information in a central place and share key information with members of your healthcare team.

At the end of this article is a link to where you can download Care page templates. Look through the pages and print those that you think will be helpful.

What is a Care Binder?

A Care Binder is an organizing tool for families who have children with special health care needs. Use a Care Binder to keep track of important information about your child’s health and care.

How can a Care Binder help me?

In caring for your child with special health needs, you may get information and paperwork from many sources. A Care Binder helps you organize the most important information in a central place. A Care Binder makes it easier for you to find and share key information with others who are part of your child’s care team.

Use your Care Binder to:

  • Track changes in your child’s medicines or treatments
  • List telephone numbers for health care providers and community organizations
  • Prepare for appointments
  • File information about your child’s health history
  • Share new information with your child’s primary doctor, school nurse, daycare staff, and others caring for your child

What are some helpful hints for using my child’s Care Binder?

  • Store the Care Binder where it is easy to find. This helps you and anyone who needs information in your absence.
  • Add new information to the Care Binder whenever there is a change in your child’s treatment.
  • Consider taking the Care Binder with you to appointments and hospital visits so that information you need will be close at hand.

How do I set up my child’s Care Binder?

Step 1: Gather information you already have.

  • Gather up any health information you already have about your child. This may include reports from recent doctor’s visits, immunization records, recent discharge summary of a hospital stay, this year’s school plan, test results, or informational pamphlets.

Step 2: Look through the pages of the Care Binder.

  • Which of these pages could help you keep track of information about your child’s health or care?
  • Choose the pages you like. Print copies of any you think you will use. They are on the www.chop.edu internet site. Type in Care Binder.

Step 3: Decide which information about your child is most important to keep in the Care Binder.

  • What information do you look up often?
  • What information is needed by others caring for your child?
  • Consider storing other information in a file drawer or box where you can find it if needed.

Step 4: Put the Care Binder together.

  • Everyone has a different way of organizing information. The only important thing is to make it easy for you to find again. We put together the supplies you need to get started.
  • Ask for help from your health care providers.

Click here to download templates of Care pages that may be useful for you.

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Last Updated: May 26, 2015

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.


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