Six Ways Electronic Health Records Can Benefit Patients

Posted On : November 13, 2014,   Time : 10:00 pm

Patients can benefit in a multitude of ways by having some say on their electronic health records, but the publication MedCityNews zeroes in on five specific reasons:

    • It improves patient participation in their own healthcare decision-making
    • The patient can easily recall their entire medical history if they visit a new doctor for care
    • Prescriptions, vaccinations and other physician notes are far more legible than in their original handwritten form
    • Scheduling appointments are far easier for patients
    • A complete medical history is at the fingertips of all clinicians

 

But perhaps the most important reason is that patients have control over their medical records. The New York Times has reported that it can take weeks for patients to obtain their traditional paper records from their doctors, often requiring multiple phone calls and fees for copying that can exceed $100 or more.

“The medical record is held hostage,” Harvard Law School Professor I. Glenn Cohen told the New York Times. “The reason is often to keep a customer or keep a patient from leaving the practice.”

Or, providers may cite the federal HIPAA privacy law for not wanting to release the records.

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“When hospitals talk about HIPAA or charge for releasing records what they’re really saying is, ‘I don’t want to do this and I have to find an excuse,’ ” David Blumenthal, M.D., president of the non-profit Commonwealth Fund, told the New York Times. “HIPAA is used in all sorts of distorted ways, because ‘protecting privacy’ sounds good.”

SecondOpinionExpert’s electronic health records service is not only free for patients, but our HIPAA compliance is strictly for their privacy – not for someone else’s convenience. To start your EHR, visit us at www.secondopinionexpert.com.

Read the New York Times article here

Read the MedCityNews article here

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