No better time to recognize the importance of the EHR – your personal Electronic Health Record
Super Storm Sandy had five states in a stage of confusion. Electricity was slowly restored. People, not cars, were waiting in gas lines for hours with gas cans in hand. Food is in short supply. Thousands of people continue to live in homes that are deemed uninhabitable. The situation was, and still is, a disaster. These were only the immediate problems these amazingly resilient people where facing. Long term issues are rapidly approaching.
As a Board Certified Emergency Room Specialist, I deal with the medical situations that develop as a result of disasters. There are thousands of people in these stricken states that had significant medical problems long before this Category One storm hit the East Coast. Hurricane Sandy has exacerbated their conditions, and has manifested new problems in many as health conditions deteriorate without basic municipal services.
With current conditions, doctors’ offices without electricity cannot operate, and will be closed to their patients. Your local hospital, the one that always treated you, is either inundated with patients, or incapacitated by the effects of the storm. The years of medical information that have been created specifically about you and your health problems can be difficult to obtain. Physicians you have never seen before will expect you to give your entire medical history in a matter of minutes. Can you tell him everything he needs to know?
The true challenge of today’s healthcare system is obtaining quality, accurate medical care. A requirement of a good electronic health records system includes having your personal medical information immediately available to your doctor. With so many people changing their physicians and insurance plans on a frequent basis the following questions have to be addressed:
- Where are my health records now?
- How can my new doctor or hospital obtain my medical information now?
- How can an elderly person, who may not recall their history and medications, receive good health care?
In the event of disasters like Super Storm Sandy that recently occurred on the East Coast, Hurricane Katrina that devastated the south, or the high magnitude earthquake predicted for the West Coast, being prepared is the most important survival technique. If you have a significant medical condition, or are responsible for multiple family members, the personal Electronic Health Record, (EHR) can be the best insurance you can have. A quality personal electronic health record will provide the following specifics:
- The EHR empowers you to have complete control and access of your records
- The EHR must follow you regardless of where you seek medical care, giving instant access and medical information to any doctor or healthcare provider
- The EHR is completely secure and totally private, yet accessible with your permission 24 hours a day, anywhere
- Both you and your physician can easily develop and maintain the medical information
- You develop a personal health record (PHR), in addition to your electronic medical record (EMR), consisting of doctor dictated medical records by all physicians involved in your care
- The EHR must be a continuously developing journal of one’s health care with contributions by all physicians involved
- Your healthcare provider must be able to rapidly access information relevant to your issues
- Your PHR provides your doctor with your personal information, complete health history, medication log, allergies to medications, foods, and adverse drug reactions, but must also contain your insurance information, and emergency contacts list
Your health impacts every aspect of your life, and should be one of your highest priorities. When minutes count, a well developed EHR makes a tremendous difference in the care you receive. For an EHR system to benefit you, and your treating physicians, it must provide information regarding all your medical conditions, giving you the power to obtain the best health care, and the comfort of knowing it will happen because of your preparation. This is the time to consider having your own personal Electronic Health Record. There are hundreds of medical records systems created for doctors and hospitals. There are very few personal electronic health records systems, and they empower you to obtain the best healthcare available.
Dr. Martin H. Orens is a board certified emergency room physician. With more than 25 years of experience caring for patients, Dr. Orens recognizes the critical importance of readily accessible, comprehensive medical records. Some years ago, he envisioned a system in which patients would have the ability to obtain and provide their own valuable medical information at all times, anywhere in the world—a particularly indispensable service in times of urgent or emergency care. Dr. Orens realized his dream by launching KARE Information Services (KIS) Electronic Health Records. He is the president and founder of KIS, which offers a secure, yet easily accessible personal Electronic Health Records (EHR) system that empowers patients and helps health care providers to better serve them. For more information please visit http://www.kisemr.com.