Monday, June 7, 2010
Patients with Chronic Conditions see many health providers that may not have access to a shared network. Specialists are not up to date in your basic primary care health issues. Primary care providers may not know enough about treatment options to advise their patients. Patients who are pro-active in managing their complete health care and medical records have better quality of care.
Patients that are dealing with a chronic health condition will most likely interact with many health care providers. Because your medical history is spread out among your entire medical team, keeping your own updated medical record will help you play an active, informed role in your care. Every time you visit your Doctor or pay a visit to a clinic or hospital, they may require you to complete forms. Writing the same information over and over again. This is Frustrating, time consuming and may not necessarily be accurate because you have forgotten important details about your medical history, such as Surgeries, Medications and dates for all these vital pieces of data about you. Knowing your medical history allows you to share accurate information with new doctors.
When first collecting all your medical information you should start by asking for a copy of your most recent records every time you visit a health provider or a medical facility. Most medical offices charge a fee for copies of your medical record. So it’s best to ask for copies of reports, doctor notes, test results and all relevant records during your medical appointment. By asking for your records while you are at your appointment is likely you will not be charged.
Here are just some of the benefits of managing and organizing your own medical records.
•Stress reduction when filling out hospital and medical forms - saving time, frustration and costly mistakes.
•Quality health information readily available at all points of care, reducing delays in treatment.
•Providing health professionals a consistent and complete understanding of your health condition, avoiding unnecessary treatments and adverse reactions, such as harmful prescription drug interactions.
•Reducing unnecessary duplication of expensive diagnostic tests, including lab work.
While electronic medical records are useful and being used more widely in Physician and hospital settings. You cannot carry them with you. Most Electronic Medical Records that are in place today can only be accessed by the individual Physician’s or Hospital facility, not across a shared network of physicians. And until such time that patient’s personal medical information can be shared over a secure network platform, it is up to the patient to be responsible for there own health care, and to take an active role in there overall medical record and treatment care.