Stanley Feld MD,FACP,MACE
In my last post is referred to” Naked Conversations : How blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. It is a must read.” I by error omitted Shel Israel as co author. Shame on me! I am usually very sensitive to this. I made an error. I fully appreciate the work of coauthors, and the importance of that recognition. I apologize Shel Isreal! I hope you can accept my apology.
A PMR (Personal Medical Record) is one part of the integrated EHR (Electronic Health Record I described. I received the following comment from Steven Goodman. The comment warrants inclusion because it signifies that people are thinking.
"In the medical field, EMR's and PMR's are vital in the forthcoming of better treating patients under any circumstances. Be it a natural disaster, like Katrina, or another terrorist attack, or even if your just going out of the country or to a place you are unfamiliar with, these portable medical records will aid in the treatment of patients. Although there is much discussion over what is invading our privacy and what isn't, either way these devices serve an invaluable service; they will save our lives! We need to take these items from being a novelty item to becoming a necessity, something that everyone of us has. Even in my young age, I am 23, many of my friends would truly like to have one of these devices and I also have a few testimonials of friends of which this type of device would have greatly helped them. Again, PMR's and EMR's are a great idea and we need to spread the word!"
The Personal Health Record (PHR) is one important component of the Electronic Health Record (EHR). It is the medical record of the individual. It’s data belongs to the individual. The key to a successful EHR is that all the components listed are interoperable and relational data points. I suspect if there is only 18% adoption of the Electronic Medical Records and few that are interoperable and relational we are a long way from having an interopretable PHR.
In the ideal Medical Saving Account the patient is motivated to be responsible for their own healthcare dollar and their continuing health in order to save money tax free for retirement. The demand for the PHR will be present. The patient will be motivated to avoid costly repetition of testing and long diagnostic work up. Additionally, tests like an EKGs or a complete blood tests are simply a snapshot of the patients condition at the time of the test. Serial testing is an important help in making the correct diagnosis quickly. There is no reason that patients and potential patients can not have access to their medical history and laboratory evaluation instantly at the present time.
I have advocated that the patients obtain a copy of their history, physical and all laboratory tests and procedures from their physicians. The patient should then scan the documents into their computer. They should then copy the stored data into a USB Flash Drive Key. The Key can be carried with them at all times in case of emergency or reevaluation by another physician. Any physician’s office or emergency facility can download the information instantaneously through the USB port. The information is important for past history and rapid diagnosis .
There is no delay in record transfers. The patient collecting the data places the responsibility on the patient and not the hospital or clinic for old medical records that could be necessary at times of new illness.
The USB Key PMR is only a stop gap measure until we have an integrated EHR. It can be not only cost saving it can be life saving.
A friend, Ira Denton M.D. and his wife Judy Denton Phd created a company called Cap Med several years ago. It is an excellent integrated PMR along with and an EMR. The development was a little early in the adoption cycle. It contained a physicians perspective so vital to future success in my view. It is functional presently in several clinic. The Denton’s sold their company to a larger company. As pressure to adopt the ideal EHR build systems like the Denton’s system are out there and developed.
The problem is these systems are not formatted for the benefit of the physician and the patient. The patient has in make the decision on how the information gets distributed. Until then and until the cost is reduced, adoption by the medical profession will be slow.
In the meantime Steven Goodman, I would buy a $15 512 mb USB key, scan, download and carry your medical records in your key case at all times just in case of emergency.
You own your medical record and it is your responsibility to maintain that record. Ten years from now the institution that generated your record could have destroyed it. The information you paid for is no longer available. However, it will be present in your USB key.