"It was one of 15 major grants for pilot projects announced Tuesday — chosen from 130 applicants — in what the White House calls its "Beacon Community" program to enhance use of computers in health care and to provide for the use of an electronic health record for every American by 2014." - Grant from Federal Government
Electronic Health Care records sound like a great idea. You go to the Doctor... they refer you to another Doctor... you go and don't have to fill out all that paperwork over and over.
I like that idea conceptually.
The problem is this... and I know people this has happened to... but not because of electronic health care records, because of word of mouth. Electronic Health Care records will just make it more common.
Example: Patient goes to Doctor. Doctor can not confirm diagnosis, tells patient it's "all in their head". Tries to prescribe anti-depressant. Patient is frustrated, gets no help and looks for next doctor. Next Doctor knows first Doctor... makes call and is told Doctor - to -Doctor "It's all in their head". Second Doctor treats patient like the first. Result Patient gets no help!!!
It's very common for Doctors to label patients "Doctor Shoppers". Once this is in your Electronic Record every Physician you try and contact will read your file and your chances of getting help will be almost Zero. Second Opinions will become a thing of the past based on your electronic records and the reputation of the Physician.
The fact of the matter is Doctors are OFTEN WRONG but many have egos so huge they can not admit it. It's often best to NOT tell your Doctor about a previous appointment so they can make their own evaluation. You don't want your medical care being managed like your credit score. One piece of bad information can destroy your chances for help and will be nearly impossible to be corrected.
I have a friend whose mother went through this over and over for years. Being labeled "crazy", "doctor shopper", etc. Until finally she got to the "right" doctor who diagnosed her actual condition. She had corrective surgery and all her symptoms went away. It was all about finding the "right" doctor... one who could really figure out what is wrong.
With electronic records once a person is labeled they will NEVER get help. This is also the problem with Government Run Health Care as an administrator with ZERO medical training may be the person making the decision as to whether a patient gets access to a specialist or not.
So while technology may seem like a great idea it has a hideous downside. Just ask any patient suffering from Chron's Disease or Fibromyalgia how easy it is to find a Doctor who can help.
I don't know all the good and bad sides of this issue . . .
I have no interest in having any of my personal info passed around to anyone who has access just so I don't have to confide all over again in someone new. I will base my decision on whether or not to tell them anything on how they treat me face to face.
And if I have to "doctor shop" to find the right guy, so be it.
(ask any woman how many gynecologists they "went through" before finding the right one?)
I have been fortunate with having wonderful physicians over the years and there are some people who have 'phobia's' requiring Dr visits for everything and Dr's with big ego's, unfortunately. I think it's great that we do have genuinely caring Dr's also and they are the ones that should be touted the most maybe somebody will start a site with such information available, a true, 'testimonial' site for people so big ego Dr's can be bypassed altogether.
Madame X - I agree. When I worked for a large Health Insurer there were way too many people with easy access to the information.
They could look up their neighbors, co workers, etc. Health Care issues are certainly not something you want to share with strangers.
I believe what you bring up is potentially an even bigger issue. Who decides who gets access to what information?
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