Sunday, January 28, 2007

Medical record system cited for needless deaths

The lack of easily accessible electronic medical records should be a bigger issue than it currently is. The focus by patients and the media are ER lineups and surgical waiting lists more than anything else, and this is somewhat reasonable as they are big issues. Even though the lack of e-records is not that sexy a topic, it should still be addressed. Some provinces have made steps in the right direction, but our health remains one of the least "connected" part of our lives.

I'd prefer that control of a personal health record is given to a patient themselves. Why can't a patient carry their medical records on a flash drive that gets inserted into a computer at each health care provider? This would require an easy to use program that could be used as an industry standard and this currently doesn't exist.

From the Globe and Mail:
After more than 20 years as a family physician, Michelle Greiver questions why Canadians can access bank accounts 24/7 but when they go to the hospital after hours, their medical records are unavailable.

She's among a minority of Canada's doctors trying to update the health care system's archaic processes, which by one estimate costs up to 24,000 lives each year. ...more

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