Eric Murray " Electronic medical records to make things easier for patients
March 1, 2009
It’s time the method of keeping track of your health records be modernized.
To digitize, store and share information electronically is believed to be a more efficient and safer way to keep track of your health information. This is what the Bush administration believed when they implemented the National HealthCare Reform standard with a goal to have medical records for all Americans become electronic by 2015.
Kremmling Memorial Hospital and its clinics, Timberline Family Practice in Granby and Mountain Valley Medical Center in Kremmling, have recently received grant funding to implement such a system. It is expected to be implemented by summer 2009.
“I am very excited about the future of medical records and in helping patients obtain more control over their health information,” says Marie Johnston, Health Information Management Manager at KMHD.
This change could offer many advantages and benefits both to the health care consumer and to the provider. If your medical records are online, they can be accessed by you or your doctor, with your permission, on any computer anywhere in the world. This could help the doctor better understand your health history and make appropriate decisions based on the information.
Categorizing and sorting information will be easier electronically as opposed to the paper option. Plus patients will be able to access information in a secure location. Other advantages include faster processing of insurance claims, safety precautions for drug allergies and prescription information. Radiology results as well as lab results will be able to be viewed and tracked with electronic medical records.
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Because many patients utilize several doctors or nurses or health care facilities, this system of storing information will save time and reduce errors and possible redundancy. Doctors won’t necessarily have to call the last doctor you saw and request your records because they will be able to access that doctors notes regarding your case. This would logically mean fewer administrative processes, saving time and money that will positively affect the patient.
Are you tired of filling out the same information before seeing a new doctor? Electronic medical records may also reduce the time you have to take to input this information, resulting in more face time with your physician.
But what about security?
“People are already comfortable shopping online with their credit cards and they even do their banking on line,” says Johnston. “Like any sensitive information online, it will be protected with a variety of security measures.”
Ultimately the health care industry is seeking ways to improve its ability to provide the best quality patient care possible. Electronic medical records programs are designed to do just that.