In many places on this blog, we have extolled the benefits of electronic medical records. Having easily transferable medical data seems highly desirable in a world where health care is becoming more and more specialized, and patients with multiple conditions also have multiple medications and doctors. They also have the potential to give patients access to their own records.
An article in The New York Times brings a different perspective to light. Just because electronic medical records do away with some level of bureaucratic paperwork, they come with their own set of systemic problems. Danielle Ofri, M.D. discusses the frustration of facing a 1,000 character limit while describing a patient’s complicated needs. She trims her description, but is unable to make her evaluations fit into the box. “In desperation,” she writes, “I call the help desk and voice my concerns. ‘Well, we can’t have the doctors rambling on forever,’ the tech replies.”
Pulse offers Electronic Health Record and Practice Management solutions nationwide in more than 26 medical specialties. Since 1982 Pulse has focused on its mission to develop, market and support health care practice work flow solutions.
The picture of American public health is about to get much clearer thanks to HITECH, a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The ARRA HITECH stimulus package incentivizes doctors to convert their practices from traditional paper records to Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology. EHRs have many advantages over traditional paper records, including increased efficiency, reductions in healthcare-related errors, and the ability to view the aggregate patient data in order to better understand the overall health of the populous. The aggregation of this data will arm public health officials with the insights they need to better understand causes and effects related to diet and weight. (more…)
On Tuesday, the federal government issued new standards that will reward the “meaningful use” electronic health records. Hospitals and doctors could potentially receive up to $27 billion over the next ten years for equipment to computerize patients’ medical records. The government feels the changes will help lead to higher quality and more reliable health care.
For example, doctors will now use electronic systems to store patient information normally kept on file, such as date of birth, sex, weight, height and blood pressure. It will also include health information such as medical conditions, smoking habits and medications. Doctors will also have to transmit 40 percent of prescriptions electronically.
Sweeping changes are on the way in the health care industry. The details will be hashed out by politicians, but we the people can collectively express our opinions on what changes we are passionate about. If one group of health advocates has its way, our health care will finally move fully into the 21st century.
Health Data Rights, an all-volunteer group, is pushing the health care industry to finally have all of our medical records digitized and fully accessible to the patient. The group’s website, HealthDataRights.org, is designed to help give people a voice in obtaining their rights to take responsibility for their own health information and care. It features a Declaration of Health Data Rights that includes the following: (more…)