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As a member of Group Heath Cooperative in Puget Sound for over 20 years, I've seen first hand many positive aspects of computerizing patient records.
These issues are not so much inherent problems with EMR's as they are symptoms of a broken health care system, in particular where the provider and the insurer are one and the same. Except… when the medical professional and I looked together at the series of scans in my EMR dating back to 2002, there that pesky meningioma was, seemingly the same size as in the 2011 scan. This means I spend a lot of my time bringing copies of records between various specialists, and communicating what one doctor said to another.
I also have a list of every medicine and treatments I have tried, and the outcomes, as new doctor often has a standard approach to the first thing they want to try.
My clinic in California had started doing electronic records before I left, but I recall it as being kind of clunky. One comment based on my experience, I appreciate the doctor who said the system would not let him record what he wanted to say. I am a retired librarian and early in my career I worked on several of the early computer systems for recording the arrival of issues of magazines in libraries. I'm all for having evidence-based guidance in medicine, but I want the doctor to be able to take all of this information and then see if I fit the profile the computer predicted.
Criticism over how the University of Missouri handled a series of racist incidents on campus this fall has claimed the jobs of two top officials: President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R.
In one case, much-anticipated credit-card records from Marco Rubio produced … not a great deal.
A clinic office assistant searches for a patient’s missing medical file at the Spanish Peaks Family Clinic in Walsenburg, Colorado. Our medical records were supposed to join the information age: a single repository with a person’s entire medical history, accessible to all who should see it, safe from those who shouldn’t, easily mined to improve individual care and the health care industry at large.

Most hospitals now use an electronic system, and more than three-quarters of doctors’ offices use of some kind of electronic record. For the sake of simplicity, I’m referring to electronic records that contain health information as “electronic health records” throughout this article.
This is unnerving to many people — the record is about us, the patients, after all, and often includes our most sensitive information. Numerous laws do protect patient privacy, most dating to the time of paper records, though they’ve been updated to reflect the shift to digital.
A patient does have a right to an “accounting of disclosures,” which is the wonky way of saying that medical providers have to tell you who they share your data with, if you ask. The federal government believes some of the difficulty is intentional — that medical practices and software companies are using “information blocking” to prevent data sharing. The lack of “interoperability,” as it’s called, among EHR systems doesn’t just cause frustration, but can lead to medical errors and redundant testing, according to Ross Koppel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies health information technology. David Blumenthal, who supervised the Obama administration effort to move medical records into electronic form; and installments one, two, and three. My experience, however, shows the great promise of EMR to improve medical care and help patients make medical decisions. I'm sure this is much less complex than medical records, but it is more complex than one might think. But those records are tucked in a complicated web of hundreds of kinds of proprietary software with limited applications that frequently don’t talk to one another. The practice of separating mental-health records from more general ones, the norm for the past several decades, grew as a response to discrimination that people with mental health disorders were facing from employers, physicians and insurance companies, according to Deborah Peel, founder of Patient Privacy Rights, an organization that focuses on patient privacy. When it comes to medical records, the law is clear: The data belongs to the medical practice (New Hampshire is the lone exception, where the data in an EHR belongs to the patient, though the file belongs to the provider).

Koppel first came to national attention when he noticed that his employer’s EHR was introducing errors into records. Now, when your physician asks a question, responds to one of yours, and makes a note in your record, this becomes another billing code. And yet, a patient sometimes can’t easily have her medical file sent from one doctor to another, even in the same building, and sometimes medical record software is so difficult to work with that a doctor can only search one page at a time. I can go to ANY VA facility in the world (yes, there are VA clinics and hospitals outside the US) and they will have total access to my medical records.
I keep my own records of my latest test results, culled from the various sources (included the online tools provided by some medical facilities), and bring them with me to appointments, so I can answer questions about when I last had a test, and what the results are. As a result, for many of us, there isn’t a lot of medical data in our EHR at all, or we have a bunch of records with bits of information that aren’t linked together electronically.
When I see the nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant a few hours later, pictures of my brain are available in my electronic chart, and my medical professional looks at the scan with me, and explains what he or she sees.
The language and codes used, as well as data-reporting requirements, differ by specialty, and EHR software isn’t currently up to the task of bridging those gaps technologically, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Doctors worry that patients lack necessary knowledge or context to fully understand their records or might be offended by the notes. And the Federal Trade Commission says the complaints about practices that lock medical offices into a particular brand of software and fees for exchanging information keep pouring in.

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