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Daniel Kraft: Medicine's future? There's an app for that

Daniel Kraft: Medicine's future? There's an app for that

The Era of Electronic Medical Records Twenty years ago the influential Institute of Medicine began prodding the medical community to embrace electronic medical records. EMRs would make healthcare better, safer, and more efficient, argued the IOM, if every person's complete medical history was stored on computers linked up across the country. Clinicians anywhere could view a patient's every blood test, hospital stay, and X-ray; smart software would guide diagnoses. [See the list of Most Connected Hospitals and the methodology behind it.] That is now changing—quickly. At last, the connectedness era is approaching. At their best, EMRs (also abbreviated EHR, for electronic health records) pull together all of a patient's information, from the results of the last routine checkup with her primary care doctor to CT scans from her emergency hospital admission because of a fall she took while vacationing 500 miles from home, in one place that is secure but remotely accessible not only to physicians but to the patient herself.

Montana pilots personal health records program A pilot program in Montana will set up electronic personal health records for employees of the City of Billings and employees of Billings-based healthcare company, combining records of all providers into a single online repository. The project, an outgrowth of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's Consumer Innovation Challenge, involves Employee Benefit Management Service (EBMS), health management system provider Dossia, the state's health information exchange HealthShare Montana, Billings physician hospital organization Rocky Mountain Health Network and HeW, a company connecting services among the other partners, according to Big Sky Business Journal. The ONC's challenge was to use grants of $200,000 to $300,000 to quickly--within six months--improve patients' access to their health records. Sign up for our FREE newsletter for more news like this sent to your inbox! Patients in the pilot may choose to share all or only some of their data.

'Sophisticated' EHR use by docs boosts preventive care rates for women Women whose healthcare providers use electronic health records are more likely to receive preventive care, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. What's more, more sophisticated use of such tools also led to an increase in preventive care. For the study, researchers examined provider responses to 16 questions within the 2007-08 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. The researchers, led by Namita Tundia of the University of Cincinnati, found that 29 percent of provider surveyed had no EHR system; 49 percent had a minimal system; close to 16 percent had a basic system; and just over 5 percent had a fully functional system. Correlating breast exam rates for those providers were as follows: 20 percent for providers with no EHR; Roughly 35 percent for providers with a minimal EHR; 37 percent for providers with a basic EHR; Nearly 45 percent for providers with a fully functional EHR.

EMR Daily News — News of the day in Electronic Medical Records, EHR and HIT Larry Magid: Benefits of Online Medical Records Outweigh the Risks A couple of years ago I arrived at my hotel in Berlin after a 12 hour flight and noticed that I had forgotten to pack medication I was taking at the time. Of course, I had no idea the actual name of the medication, let alone the exact dosage. And when I discovered it was missing, it was the middle of the night in California, so I couldn't call my clinic or pharmacy. But it wasn't a problem. I logged on to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation's My Health Online website, found the prescription information and -- with the hotel's assistance -- arranged an immediate phone consultation with a local doctor, who prescribed replacement pills. The only reason I needed to speak to a doctor was because the German pharmacy wouldn't fill a foreign prescription. That service, which is now also available via a smartphone app, has made me a smarter health care consumer. There are also privacy concerns. I also share concerns about the security of medical records.

A Doctor's Problem With Electronic Records Problem list problems with electronic medical records In family medicine it has been common to keep a “Problem List” in patients’ paper charts. Usually placed on the left hand side, on top of the Medication List, it has given doctors like me an instant thumbnail sketch before considering the specifics of each patient’s visit for that day. A typical Problem List would include diagnoses like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or rheumatoid arthritis. Because Problem Lists are brief and the page usually has a fair amount of empty space, they can usually be digested in a quick glance, almost subconsciously and without effort. In fifteen seconds or less I could prepare myself before seeing a colleague’s diabetic patient with abdominal pain, loss of appetite and loose bowels by checking that she had had her appendix out and a hysterectomy but never had agreed to a colonoscopy. The Problem List can usually be read as I walk down the hall to the exam room – that’s how quick it is to use. Submit a guest post and be heard.

Electronic medical records system may include video Electronic medical records are still making their way into physicians’ offices, but a South Carolina startup thinks it’s already spotted a missing piece of the technology – video. CareCam Innovations, based in Greenville, South Carolina, has received a $200,000 investment from SCRA, an applied research and commercialization company headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. The funding came from SCRA’s SC Launch program, which supports startups. CareCam is developing an electronic medical records system based on video. The idea came to Shannon Pierce, the founder and president of CareCam, from her days working as a nurse. Pierce declined to provide many details about the company’s technology, saying that CareCam, which was founded in 2004, has flown mostly under the radar. “We are deep in R&D and many steps from commercialization,” she said. Copyright 2014 MedCity News. Hear the latest industry news first Get our daily newsletter or follow us. Please enter your email below: By Frank Vinluan

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