By Jennifer Vogel, Minnesota Public Radio 6/20/2011
Carol Weiler, who lives in Sartell and suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, can schedule appointments at her HealthPartners clinic online. She can refill prescriptions and view parts of her medical record via the Web, even at midnight if she feels like it.
Recently, when a worrisome lab result came back, her doctor was able to call her within an hour because the results were transmitted electronically. “This was a Friday at 4 type of thing,” says Weiler. “It didn’t sit on somebody’s desk all weekend”
Joel Karels, who lives in Bigfork, likes that after a check-up at Bigfork Valley Hospital, he can review his electronic medical record with a nurse and receive “a list of what we talked about during the physical, a nice printout in big letters, easy to read.”
When Karels broke his leg after regular clinic hours one night, Bigfork’s orthopedic surgeon was able to review the situation quickly, from home, before heading in. “He was able to look at my x-ray and give the doctor on call here advice,” he says. “He told the people here what they needed to do.”
This is the upside of electronic medical records. They bring faster access to test results, allow sharing between clinic and hospital staff and result in fewer handwriting-based mistakes and duplicated tests. They bring greater patient transparency, although that comes with privacy concerns, as well.
For more click HERE