All-Access Electronic Healthcare Records? Still A Ways To Go

As I filled out four long pages of medical history forms while at a new doctor for the second time in two weeks, it dawned on me that I should be keeping track of my own health care information. Of course – why had I thought that I should rely on a fax from one doctor’s office to the next when I could take the matter into my own hands?

Fax machine

I bought an all-in-one printer-scanner-fax machine but have still never used the fax machine… Yet doctors offices and hospitals use these every day!

 

With Google Docs and the kind of record keeping that I engage in on a regular basis for work and volunteer efforts, why was I not already doing this with my healthcare records?

 

It hadn’t occurred to me until recently, when a few trips to new doctors forced me to rack my brain multiple times and scribble down half-guessed answers to my own health history.  These recent experiences were reminders that, no, transferring healthcare information still is largely the burden of the patient – if you, as a patient, want to make sure your records are complete, accurate and timely.

 

As someone who regularly checks on my bank statements just to make sure all charges are legit and no fraudulent activity is going on with my credit cards, why wouldn’t (shouldn’t) I be just as careful and keeping tracking of my health history?


We are in an age of technology and, though personal healthcare records have started to become more prevalent, half the battle is being proactive and diligent with your electronic healthcare records. As a reminder, the fax machine is not dead yet!

This is a prelude to my review of Dr. Eric Topol’s The Creative Destruction of Medicine, which I just started reading today. I’m excited to hear Dr. Topol’s thoughts about the convergence of technology and medicine.

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