Health diaries, or patient logs, are simple tools patients can use to record their symptoms or activities in an organized manner over a defined period of time to augment the diagnostic and therapeutic process. The patient’s chief complaint and the objectives of keeping the diary determine much of the information included. However, key features usually include symptom timing, duration, associated symptoms, triggers, alleviating factors, and lifestyle considerations.
Health Diaries: A real-world example
To exemplify this from our own experience, the fact that our patients who come to the clinic do not keep a regular health record causes us to need more tests and procedures to make an accurate diagnosis, the longer the examination period of the patient, and thus the hospital visit becomes a more uncomfortable and costly process for the patient.
However, in some diseases, the simplest example of hypertension or diabetes, patients’ blood pressure or blood sugar monitoring is very important in terms of dose adjustment, drug changes or changes in the treatment plan, and predicting possible problems to be encountered in the future.
For this reason, keeping a health diary even when you do not have a health complaint can help your physician to notice simple signs that you are not aware of, and even prevent long and troublesome treatment processes with early diagnosis of some health problems.
5 Benefits of Health Diaries
Here are 5 benefits of keeping a health diary:
- Patient engagement and control. Keeping a symptom diary gives the patient a sense of control and direct involvement in the treatment plan. For some patients, the process of writing out their symptoms, experience, and emotions provides a therapeutic behavioral benefit as well.
- Time savings. The amount of time it takes a physician to review a one-page diary is substantially less than the time it takes to verbally interview a patient for the information.
- Focused information gathering. A diary can organize the patient’s history for a more meaningful clinical interpretation.
- Trigger identification. A diary can help the physician identify nuances of symptoms within a disease process and can directly lead to activity modification and lifestyle changes that optimize overall function.
- Cost savings. Symptom diaries can create a more thorough history, which has the potential to limit unnecessary laboratory and radiographic testing.
Momly: More than a health diary
Momly offers you a much more comprehensive tracking infrastructure, along with all the advantages of a health diary. In this part of our article, we will summarize 5 parameters that you can track with Momly.
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1. Development Tracking
You have a very important role in monitoring your children’s development
The most important reason for monitoring each child’s development is to find out if a child’s development is on track. It is important to act early if there are signs of potential development delay because early treatment is so important for improving a child’s skills and abilities.
Developmental disabilities are surprisingly common
If you have not already had a child in your care with a developmental delay or disability, chances are, you will. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1 in 6 children has a developmental disability. Children with developmental problems are at increased risk for poor outcomes in many areas important to health, well-being, and success in life.
Developmental disorders increase a child’s risk for poor school performance, frequent absences from school, and repeating a grade, as well as for having more health problems.
Early treatment is important
Because early treatment can make a big difference in a child’s ability to learn new skills, it is very important for children with developmental disabilities. Speech therapy, physical therapy, and other services are available in every state for free or at low cost to parents. However, if a developmental concern is not identified early, parents can’t take advantage of these services.
2. Health Tracking
Monitoring your child’s symptoms regularly will help your doctor better understand your child’s health and contribute to the creation of the most appropriate treatment plan for your child.
Regular symptom follow-up will also contribute to the easier and early detection of health problems that may be overlooked by your physician.
For these reasons, we recommend that you record even the smallest changes in your child’s health status and share them with your doctor when you visit.
Momly also provides a Health Report feature that allows you generating a health report to share the symptoms, development progress, mood changes and measurements with your physician.
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3. Skills Tracking
In addition to tracking development based on the CDC developmental checklist, child development specialists and pediatricians want to follow certain aspects of children. With Momly skill tracking, you can add notes and photos for each record while tracking your child’s skills in these categories that your child development specialist or pediatrician will request. If you wish, include the skill records you have recorded with Momly in the health report and contact your physician.
4. Mood Tracking
Understanding your moods helps you manage them and feel better faster.
If you are more aware of your moods, you may be able to better manage your lifestyle choices, make informed health decisions, prevent or avoid triggers of negative moods, and work towards a better quality of life.
The trick is to watch for changes in your mood, particularly any very high swings or very low dips (which may mean you need help to even out your emotional state). Self-monitoring is free and takes hardly any time. And it becomes easier as you make it part of your daily routine.
Moreover, regular mood tracking information might be an indicator of some health problems and is very valuable information for clinicians.
With Momly, you can track your own, and your family members’ moods and report to your physician when needed.
5. Measurement Tracking
Height and weight monitoring are extremely important indicators for your child’s health and development. For this reason, it is important to regularly monitor the height and weight of children from birth, in order to show whether your child has a healthy development process.
While weight change gives an idea in many ways, such as whether the child is eating well in the neonatal period, whether additional treatment is needed, and the management of neonatal jaundice, if any, it is considered as an early warning parameter for many diseases that may be encountered in children as they get older. For these reasons, you can ensure that your doctor can evaluate your child’s development and health status in a healthier way by regularly monitoring height and weight.
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Momly is so much more than that!
While our tracking tools in health and other categories are very interesting, we are preparing many more features for you at Momly and will be coming soon. Do not forget to follow us on social media to be informed about the developments about Momly.
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