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

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  •  And, my Dr. accessing my x-ray in her office... (1+ / 0-)
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    Tinfoil Hat

    and my lab results, my current medications, the details of my last office visit, all of which she quickly accesses during my office visit and then discusses with me.  She then determines current treatment based on this information.  

    Having worked in medical records/ quality management for 30+ years in the times of only paper records, and then of electronic medical records, the record always was routinely was sought after by multiple people: Drs--often doctors in different departments involved in the patients' care, nurses, ward clerks, auditors (yes--even in the olden pre-electronic record days)  --utilization, case management, quality management, medical records, etc.--all needing access to the record, often at the same time.   (yes--even in the olden days).  

    Obviously, since only one person at a time could have the record, there were often times that the person who was currently treating the patient and who needed the record wasn't able to locate/ obtain the record when it was needed.

    The "red-tape" people who currently use patients' record have always been there--though people likely weren't aware of the number of people who accessed their records for various medical, administrative, and documentation reasons.

    These administrative types eventually got access to the records, but the delays in getting access to the records often resulted in inconvenience to the patient, by delaying their obtaining information they wanted from their medical record.

    Electronic records are far from perfect, but they do offer some advantages (and, of course, some disadvantages) from the paper record.  

    BTW, I was originally a highly suspicious Luddite who was very leery of the switch from paper to electronic.  But over time, I've come to see the real advantages to the patient.  For example: A patient's record being instantly available to caregivers--even if the patient is seeking emergency treatment at a facility within the system but hundreds, or thousands, of miles--away from their primary care facility.

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