It seems like the new year comes with a long to-do list: make resolutions, create goals for the year, start thinking about your taxes (ugh.) But the one thing every esthetician should have at the top of their list: update your client consent forms, specifically your medical history form. This should be done once every year, so while it doesn’t need to be done in January, starting now will get you into the habit of reviewing your forms every year.
Why Medical History Forms Should Be Updated Annually
Asking clients to update their medical history form annually is a sound habit to get into. Medication changes or new allergies are a couple reasons why this is important. Additionally, with the Groupon shoppers, you can never be too sure when your client last had a skin treatment somewhere else.
This is especially important for regular clients. You may think your client has the heart of a golden retriever and is loyal only to you, but asking for honest updates on their medical history form could save them from a horrible reaction to a treatment. For example: is today’s treatment going to compromise her barrier function because she had a mini-facial and an enzyme peel as an add-on at her Botox appointment with her nurse practitioner last week? It’s always best to ask (on the form) and before your service.
How To Update Your Medical History Form
Create a form that you can have your client sign at each visit and you can initial that you have verified the information. “I have had no changes in my health status since my last visit.” Underneath that line include this sentence, “Changes to my health status since my last visit include_____________.” Your client will complete one line or the other. Add a signature line and date for your client and an initial spot for yourself. You can fit at least six of these on one page, so you’re not adding a lot of bulk to your records.
Don’t feel awkward asking your client to complete an update. We are all used to completing health care provider forms. You are no different. You’re caring for the largest organ in the body. If your client does have some type of adverse event, you have added some legal protection by adding these two little lines prior to each treatment.
Checking with your state board on the requirements for record keeping is a good idea, as well. Some states have very specific data that you are required to obtain prior to any treatment, home care instructions you must give, as well as rules for how long you have to store the records.
Photo: Shutterstock | Gyorgy Barna
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Mary Nielsen grew up in Minnesota but calls Portland, Oregon home for the past 30 years. She is the Executive Director of Spectrum Advanced Aesthetics Institute and serves on the board of Certified Advanced Estheticians for the state of Oregon. She is a happily married grandmother who has been thrilled to be working in the never dull field of advanced esthetics for over 17 years. She spends her free time outdoors or at her sewing machine.
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