We cannot predict when an accident or emergency is going to take place. All too often, hospitals and caretakers are unable to follow a person’s wishes for medical treatment – even if he or she had the correct documents in place – because these documents are not immediately available. In order to avoid this fate, a recent article discusses the option of keeping critical documents on a USB drive.
A USB drive is a portable storage device that can be attached to a keychain or stored in a wallet. In order to view its contents, a user can simply plug it into any computer with a USB port. If your friends or family members are aware that you carry it with you, they can review its contents should they be required to make any medical or legal decisions on your behalf.
In order to protect yourself and your wishes in the event of an emergency, your USB drive should include a HIPAA release, living will, and medical power of attorney. It is not advisable to put a password on this drive because then the documents will not be easily accessible. However, do not store sensitive information on your USB drive, such as account numbers and passwords, unless it is password protected or encrypted.