Deciding which version of the BSA’s Annual Health and Medical Record you need shouldn’t raise your blood pressure.
And starting today, you’re getting a streamlined version of the BSA health forms and an easier-to-use website to accompany them. The site is the result of several BSA teams (professionals and volunteers) joining forces to make this process a painless one for you and other Scouters.
The Annual Health and Medical Record (hereafter AHMR) comes in several flavors, and until now some Scouters and parents found it a little difficult to determine which version of the AHMR they or their Scout/Venturer needed.
Taking your Cub Scouts on a local tour or your Boy Scouts on a two-night camping trip? The forms you’ll need are different from those required on a camping trip lasting more than 72 hours.
Visiting the Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont or the Summit? Be sure to print off some additional information to give your doctor.
It’s all spelled out for you on the new site. Figuring out which forms you need is a snap thanks to logos, clear language and so-big-you-can’t-miss-’em buttons you’ll click to download the proper form.
Speaking of, you’ll know you’re using the right form if it says “2014 Printing” in the lower right corner.
If you’ve already gotten your physical using the old form, though, don’t fret.
“The No. 1 concern/question I got this weekend relates to, ‘Are my current valid medical records still valid?'” says Richard Bourlon, BSA health and safety team leader. “It’s most likely folks concerned we are going to make someone fill out a new physical exam when they planned to use one they just had done in December, for instance.
“We want to assure them they are still good — the old versions will be phased out over the next year, and everyone will basically have a new one in place next summer.”
Answers to this question and others are found in the FAQs section of the AHMR website. Click the “Have Questions? Get Answers Here” button at the bottom of the page and read the FAQs. Your question may have already been answered.
AHMR live webinar
Mark your calendar for the afternoon of Friday, April 4. That’s the date of a live webinar on the AHMR. You’ll hear from David Berry, the volunteer who serves as chairman of the BSA’s medical team. He led the updates and website transformation, and you can ask questions and hear him describe the changes in his own words.
Just by glancing at the new AHMR website, it’s easy to see how much better it is than its previous iteration. The previous version had good content, but it featured an intimidating block of text. The new version makes navigation a breeze.
Note to Apple users
Another rollout issue being seen so far is problems opening the forms on Apple products, which sometimes open a PDF in Preview instead of in Adobe Reader. Bourlon recommends you download the PDF and open it using Adobe Reader. That way you can fill out the form electronically if you wish.