I spent some time this afternoon filling out forms for my South Florida cardiologist so he can obtain my medical records from my Cincinnati, Ohio based physician group. I am a snow bird and spend part of my year in Florida and the other part in the Cincinnati area. I have been doing this for the 15 years since my retirement and coordinating health care for myself and my wife is a nightmare. We need two sets of primary care doctors and specialists in each location. And they don't talk to one another!
This is ridiculous as my HMO in Cincinnati has a interactive medical records system called “My Chart.” https://mychart.trihealth.com/mychart/cgha.asp All my test results, including history, are there for me to review but other physicians can't look at the data. Why not? Because the USA has not initiated a system of having a national data base on medicine. We have a data base on financial health for everybody in the country by not physical health.
Last summer I got quite sick, experiencing a staff infection called C Diff. That winter in Florida I experienced illness from some severe digestive track diseases. After about $30,000 worth of tests, they took my gall bladder out, then told me I had diverticulitis and significant ulceration. I recovered well, loss some weight and was doing fine until the problems came back with a vengece. I was referred to a Gastroenterologist in my HMO who promptly requested all my record from the Florida Gastroenterologist. But it was a month later that he told me the records had not been sent. I was asked to make a phone call.
It seems a clerk in the office was asked to FAX the records but when the FAX didn't go through she just didn't do the job, nor did she tell anyone the records had not been forwarded. I talked to the office supervisor and got an apology, and my Cincinnati physician called the Florida physician. The records were FAXed with a paper back up sent to me directly. This action probably saved another $30,000 in new tests as well as the possibility of much more severe illness. Is this any way to run a medical system? Why should we let the inaction of a clerk cost thousands and possible result in severe illness or even death. Doctors need medical data upon which to make decisions. Keeping this data from them in not productive.
We need a national health data base right now! It can save the lives of people who get sick on a vacation, business trip, etc. It can greatly reduce medical costs through eliminating unnessary testing. It is essential to anyone who splits their residence from one part of America to another. The technology is there; we just don't do it as a nation.
Here is a reference blog on the subject: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2010/01/national-healthcare-information...
Comments are closed for this blog post