Skip to main content

View Diary: Electronic Medical Records: A Primer (118 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  VA pioneered implementing electronic medical... (6+ / 0-)

    records.  During the last several years I worked at the VA, I saw the VA begin to switch over from paper to electronic records.

    ...The VA's system allows doctors and nurses at more than 1,400 facilities to share a patient's history, which means they can avoid ordering repeat MRIs or other unnecessary tests. ...More important, it has safeguards to improve care quality. The system warns providers, for example, if a patient's blood pressure goes beyond a targeted level, or if he or she is due for a flu shot or cancer screening...
    I currently am in an HMO system where the several hospitals, clinics and their physicians and staff use electronic medical records.  

    One big advantage of the electronic medical record is that when a patient is at any of the facilities within the system, the medical staff can access information about the patient, including reviewing the digital x-rays--not just the written reports--look up test results, medications, see when procedures were performed, etc.  

     

    •  The VA system needed EMR the most (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfdunphy

      Judging from the VA hospital where I did my residency, the VA system had the least efficient medical records system back in the paper records era.  It would take six weeks to get a patient's chart transferred from one VA hospital to another.  The passive-aggressive file clerks in the x-ray file room would ask for 24 hours advance notice if you wanted them to pull the x-rays on more than three patients.

      I've been told that VA hospitals are more efficient than back in the 1970's when I was a resident in training.  I sure hope so.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 06:18:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, VA system did need update & EMR isn't... (0+ / 0-)

        ...perfect, but, IMHO is a big improvement.  

        The VA turned to electronic records out of necessity...

        ...It serves 7.84 million patients through 153 hospitals, 765 outpatient clinics and 230 veterans centers and other facilities, and many patients are seen at different facilities...

        The VA's system allows doctors and nurses at more than 1,400 facilities to share a patient's history...But the  system isn't just a warehouse to store patient data. More important, it has safeguards to improve care quality. The system warns providers, for example, if a patient's blood pressure goes beyond a targeted level, or if he or she is due for a flu shot or cancer screening...

        ...The doctor could also open digital images of the patient's past X-rays, lab results and other materials, and zoom in for details...

        The VA and the DoD are also working on a upcoming joint Veterans Affairs and Defense Department electronic health record platform,   and  
        Already, the VA and the Defense Department are sharing information on 3.4 million patients treated both at the VA and military facilities...
         

        But the joint VA and Dod EMR effort has more work to do on that.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site