ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Electronic Medical Records: Why Don't You Know Me?

Updated on October 7, 2015

I find it shocking that in an age where everything is done electronically, we do not have a national medical record system whereby any doctor anywhere in the country can access my medical records. There are electronic medical records but each surgery, hospital and clinic has their own programme and they cannot be accessed by anyone else. I moved to the other end of the country when I went to university and had to register with a new doctor. I was asked for my old surgery address so they could get my medical records, but was there ever any evidence that they had them? No, of course not.

For me personally, perhaps there is an argument that I should just know the regular medicine that I take. I have two asthma inhalers and often some eczema cream; I sort of know which eczema cream I use, but tend to refer to the asthma inhalers as ‘the blue one’ and ‘the brown one’ even though I know that there are several different types. But they are called RECORDS for a reason; doctors make records so that THEY have a record of the medication they’ve prescribed. Maybe this is a better example: I went to my standard Doctors Surgery at home because I needed to get some injections for my holiday. This is the only surgery I went to until the age of 18. I saw the nurse there who gave me three injections and told me that I needed to come back a week later for the second injection of a course of three. While I was there I asked for some more inhalers (and I had to tell her which ones they were). When I went back the week later the nurse looked at me blankly like you do when you think you vaguely recognise someone but don’t know who they are. She asked me what I was there for. It was the same surgery, the same room, undoubtedly the same computer system. Why didn’t she know what I was there for? I had to go back two weeks later for the third injection. Same thing happened. What was I there for? I think she even asked me which injection it was I was supposed to be having! Is it just me or is this completely unacceptable?

I don’t know if that is a reflection of the nurse’s bad recording skills or if she was just testing me or if she hadn’t been bothered to read my record, but if they can’t get in right in just one surgery how can they expect to get it right on a national scale when the circumstances are much more serious. It’s vital that a patient’s medical history is complete and up-to-date because you never know when there might just be some kind of emergency. My grandma has to go into hospital to have an operation and was planning on having it done privately. Aside from all the various problems she seems to be having with the NHS hospital communicating with the private hospital and the surgeon, they suspected she might have a heart murmur and wanted to check how serious it was. The next day she had a phone call saying that everything was fine; operation as planned. The following day she had a phone call saying that when she gave them her medical history she hadn’t mentioned that she’d had a previous heart murmur and so they were going to have to re-schedule the op and move it to the general hospital rather than the private hospital. Now, aside from the fact that my mum says at no point did they ask for a medical history, you’d think that they would have the medical records of an elderly woman, and not expect her to remember what happened in an operation years and years ago.

I know that there are several reasons why people would argue that they didn’t want a unified electronic medical record system. They say that each hospital, surgery etc have their own codes and abbreviations for different things and that trying to change them and get them into one system would be extremely difficult, but people implement new systems into businesses all the time; it can be a hassle for a while but once it’s done it must make things easier for them. Another argument that I’ve heard is about patients complaining that they don’t want their names/medical history etc etc on some big database, especially when you hear so often in the news about bureaucrats leaving important documents, laptops on trains for example, but to be honest I don’t care if some hacker finds out that I have asthma. I mean, I would rather that no-one in that position of responsibility was leaving confidential files lying around, but I think I’d be prepared to take that risk if it meant that all doctors had access to my medical records and I could be confident that they were giving me the right medication. If people don't want their medical records avaliable to everyone then maybe they should be given the option to take them off and they can be responsible for knowing all the medication they've ever taken!

When I was 15 I started getting eczema on my hands. It was very bad and got infected quite quickly. It was coming up to my exams and the doctor gave me eczema cream and told me that it could be stressed related. I can tell you, I wasn’t stressed until I started getting the eczema. I couldn’t clench my fists, often I couldn’t write properly and I was so worried about getting it infected again that I wore ridiculous gloves half the time. While sometimes it was better than other times it basically didn’t go away until last year (I was 21). I went to the doctor numerous times, but because I was seeing lots of different doctors from two different surgeries, I don’t think I ever saw the same one twice and they never knew what I had tried before. Every time I went I had to tell the doctor what I’d tried previous and what hadn’t work. I didn’t always remember and I’m sure over the course of the six years I was prescribed the same things more than once that did no good for me. Ideally I would have gone to the same doctor every time, but I couldn’t. But my medical records should be second best to that. It shouldn’t really matter which doctor I’d been to because they should have had all the information they needed from my medical records!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Spacey Gracey profile image

      Spacey Gracey 

      8 years ago from Essex, UK

      On a related note - my Dad was once stuck arguing with a receptionist in A&E that he wasn't who he says he was because the date of birth and town didn't match their computer records - way to hard to consider that our entire county might have more than one person with that name :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)