To get the best medical care doctors need to have instant access to their patient’s medical records. Millions of people think their medical records are updated in every hospital database when they go to their doctor. That is not true. When a doctor updates a database, they are only updating the database for that hospital system. If there is a medical emergency, there is no guarantee the attending physician will have the information they need to properly treat their patient.
To ensure doctors have the proper medical records, patients can have their medical records converted into digital records. These digital records can be kept with the patient and given to any doctor or medical facility they are seen at. This is an ideal solution for those that travel frequently or may have to switch doctors and be seen before medical records arrive. By having a complete set of medical records available, patients increase their chances for better care from new doctors.
Why Does This Matter?
Personal healthcare information is very important for many reasons. The records doctors keep of their patients will detail illnesses as well as care that have been given successfully and unsuccessfully. Not only will treatments be charted, so will a pattern of illness and request for help/care. All this information is very important. The seemingly small details will help a new doctor become familiar with their patient and their medical treatment.
When doctors are presented a patient that isn’t able to speak for themselves, they have to determine what the cause of their illness is and how to treat it. There are times that patients have had previous treatments that cannot be overlooked and shouldn’t be mixed with other treatment options. If a doctor doesn’t know this information, they can actually do more harm than good.
Time is of the Essence
In the event of an emergency, every second counts. People that are involved in an accident or are unable to speak for themselves will lose critical care time if a doctor isn’t able to get key information quickly. In the event of an emergency, doctors need to know if there is a pattern of illness, normal vitals, drug use, prescribed medication list and other information. This information will help prevent misdiagnosis, harmful medication interactions and wasted time.
When a medical staff is given key information, they will be able to better access the patient quickly. Even basic information will help medical personnel understand what is going on with an unresponsive patient or a patient that is suddenly in medical distress.
How to Get It Done
When it comes to transferring medical information to digital formats, there are different ways it can be done. There are some that choose to have a 3rd party place this information in an easy to use spreadsheet. There are others that choose to do it on their own. How it gets done is up to the person that wants it done.
There are specific things that are needed to insure a complete record is created. These things include:
· Doctor summaries for the past year or two (if more are available, don’t go past 5 years unless critical illness is being monitored)
· Emergency room summaries
· Medication list (this should include dosages and instructions)
· Major surgeries
· Chronic illnesses
· Portable electronic device
Everything that is noted in these records should have the most recent information listed first.
It seems like a small thing to do but it can have a major effect in critical situations. Keeping an updated personal health record will help doctors give the best medical treatment for those they are seeing.