Chances are you’ve noticed a new health trend emerging with electronic medical records; everything from your family doctor writing on a laptop instead of paper chart to the new “Google Health” (which allows you to organize, track, and monitor all your health and health records online). If you haven’t already asked “Are my medical records on line?,” you should.
At ActiveForever.com we remain alert to health trends such as online medical records, and our goal is to help consumers be as informed as possible regarding health and wellness topics. While Google.com says it is an “embarrassing problem” that the U.S. still tracks its patient health records on paper, some privacy advocates argue electronic medical record software may not be secure enough to protect consumer privacy.
But do the benefits of electronic medical records outweigh the disadvantages? Benefits could include not having to fill out paperwork for a new doctor, all your doctors would have access to your medical records (which could foster communication, ideas, and help prevent redundancy with medical tests), not having to worry about losing your records when changing doctors or insurance companies, and more.
Electronic medical records are worthwhile to the current administration, and President Obama said the objective is to “make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting-edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.”
Health blogger Kate Riley points out the electronic medical record software SharePoint (co-developed by Microsoft) “allows for medical facilities to create secure web pages that can be accessed from any site containing internet . . . This means that each time [a] patient enters a care facility in link with the SharePoint program his or her provider will be able to quickly access their information and thus provide faster and more efficient care.” In many places your consent to care is also implied consent to have your medical records electronic.
If entering all your health information into Google feels a little too “big brother” there are electronic medical record software products on the market such as the Card4Life USB Medical Records Flash Device which allow you to have the information only on your computer, save a copy to a USB device, and then you control the access of your electronic medical records; the MedID Card Personal Health Record System is credit card size plastic card with a waterproof USB chip.
To stay up-to-date on the latest medical issues and health news check back frequently. What are your thoughts on electronic medical records? We want to hear your thoughts. Do you use electronic medical record software programs? Leave us a comment below or email us directly.