I love computers. Really, I do. Despite my oft-repeated claims about the shortcomings of electronic medical records in their current form, I do believe that information technology has the potential to be of great help to me and other physicians in providing quality care to Americans.
Stop laughing. I really mean it.
I do not believe, however, that IT best serves the medical needs of our patients when used to create non-interactive silos of information sequestered in the offices and clinics of individual doctors. Even hospitals and large integrated health systems information remains stuck within that system, providing limited utility when patients travel, or even go to a doctor not affiliated with the system.
Although some (especially in government) seem to feel that expanding those kinds of integrated systems is the way to go, the problem is that not all patients want to get their care from Mayo Clinic clones across the country. Still, I have an idea for using currently available technology to vastly improve the way medical care is delivered anywhere in this country. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*
You have a right to your medical record. It’s true –- the record of every test and procedure you’ve had done, any films or studies, your doctors notes — it’s all yours if you ask for it. But it’s not that simple.
If you’re sick, your “record” is likely in pieces in lots of different places. Some of it is in paper files and computers in the offices of each of your doctors, or in the clinics where you had a test or procedure. It’s in multiple computer systems in a hospital, or in a folder in a radiology department, a container in a pathology department, or the computer system of a pharmacy. Each of these places has their own policy or procedure if you want your record. There are forms you have to fill out, fees you have to pay, time you have to wait.
So while you have a “right” to your records, for practical purposes, you’re going to have a very difficult time actually getting them. (By the way, this is something our team at Best Doctors does very well.) But let’s say you actually get all of your medical records. Now what? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*
Why do we physicians chart the way we do? Hopefully, we do it perfectly well and have no concerns at all. But where I practice emergency medicine, we are approaching maximum inefficiency in charting.
It all became much clearer when we started using our new EMR system. Let me make it clear, I’m not against EMR. In fact, typing and templates work better for me than dictating. My dictations were usually a mine field of blanks and misunderstood words.
Furthermore, if I wanted to use it, we have a new voice recognition dictation system in addition to our templated chart. Though admittedly, the voice recognition program clearly hates some of my partners, as evidenced by the way they grasp the screen and yell at it (‘Chest Pain, not west rain!’) and by its inexplicable use of profanity in the occasional chart.
But I digress. The problem as I see it is the evolution of the medical record. Why does the medical record exist? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*
Quiz: What does the term “meaningful use” mean?
A. Using something in a way that gives life purpose and leads to carefree days of glee.
B. It depends on your definition of the word “term.”
C. It’s not mean. It’s really nice.
D. A large number of rules created by the government to assess a practice’s use of electronic medical records (EMRs) so that they can spur adoption, give criteria for incentive rewards, and have physicians in a place where care can be measured.
E. Job security for those making money off of health IT.
The answer, of course, is D and E. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*