Health Summary

Dark blue circle with a health badge inside to represent "Health Summary"Health Summary or Shared Plan of Care (SPoC)

A health summary is handy to have when children change doctors.

A health summary includes your child’s medical iinformation, conditions, diagnoses, surgeries, allergies, medications, medical equipment, immunizations, and personal as well as family medical history.

Many health systems now offer this information electronically, but if your child is moving to a doctor in another health system, that doctor may not be able to access the information.

You can create your child’s health summary using a notebook or binder from any office supply store. Use the following labels at the top of each page and then fill out the pages with information specific to your child.

Possible headings:

  • Basic information (name, date of birth, address)
  • Health insurance information
  • Conditions
  • Surgeries
  • Allergies
  • Medications
  • Medical Equipment
  • Immunizations
  • Family health history

Print a copy of the health summary and share it with new doctors.

Create a health summary using a notebook or binder.

Consider including other things that are unique about your child’s needs.

This workbook offers several common areas that should be included in a health summary. This will help start your child’s health summary. If you do not see a topic that is important for their needs, you can always add more pages.

Additional areas you may want to consider:

Medical Records:

  • Does your child receive care from more than one clinic?
  • Are the clinics part of the same medical record system?
  • If not, you may want to ask for hard copies of your visits and keep them in a folder when you go from doctor to doctor.

Health Goals for you to work on with your child:

  • Take more responsibility for their own health care.
  • Start with where they are now and take small steps.
  • Build a good relationship with their doctor(s) based on good communication.
  • Discuss goals with the doctor and plan how together they can meet these goals.

Things that must happen in the next 6 to 12 months.

The transfer of care for your young adult child will take time; however, there are situations where this process might leave them temporarily without access to necessary health care services. Create a list of services, procedures, or access to health care that they may need over the next 6 to 12 months. Use this list to start a discussion with the doctor about critical needs for your child, and decide who will take care of these needs during the transition process. This is sometimes called a “summative problem list” by doctors, or a Health Summary.

Mental Health

Like a physical health condition, recognizing and seeking treatment for a mental health condition early on leads to better outcomes.

These feelings and behaviors include:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little;
  • Avoiding people and usual activities;
  • Having low or no energy;
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters;
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless;
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared;
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships;
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true;
  • Thinking of harming one’s self or others.

Discuss concerns with your child and their primary care doctor, another health professional, or other trusted resource in the community.

Be Involved: It is important to be actively involved in your child’s life. Get to know their friends and what they do together. Be aware of how they are performing in school.

Shared Plan of Care (SPoC)

A Shared Plan of Care is a form filled out by parents, youth, and the health care provider. It is meant to make sure that everyone caring for your child knows about medical conditions, and that next steps in care are outlined. There are many templates to choose from (example template).

There are three essential elements to a Shared Plan of Care:

  1. Medical Summary
  2. Family Strengths and Preferences
  3. Negotiated Actions

Bonus Material:

Check out the Bonus Material page for more information on this topic.