This weekend is Halloween where children of all ages will dress in costume and take to the streets in one of childhood’s favorite holidays. We here at MedeFile would like to wish everyone a safe, happy and festive night this year.
Halloween is a fun and very social time for children and is also a time when most parents are willing to give their young ones a longer leash, so to speak, to experience more independence as they go door-to-door showing off their costumes and getting paid in treats. This puts some strain on parents, of course, who worry about their children at this time.
To help with that, we have introduced the MedeDrive Bracelet, which safely stores emergency information about your child as well as family contact information. Because children are often not able to convey their own medical information to emergency personnel, such as allergies and medications, the MedeDrive Bracelet can be a life-saving help to law enforcement and medical responders.
This time of year is the beginning of the Holiday Season. Safety is always a concern, but should not overshadow the festivities and memory-making times that are at hand. To that end, MedeFile is wishing all of you a safe, happy, and wonderful Halloween and Holiday season this year.
May yours be full of happy memories and family fun.
The popular television show House recently had a story line which intrigued me. The plot was twisting and entertaining, but it was more interesting when I began thinking about how things would have changed had the main character in question had a MedeFile. Assuming she had been honest, of course, and the final twist hadn’t been what it was.
The story revolved around Margaret McPherson, a woman who has several medical issues throughout the episode. This, of course, is fitting since the show is a combination of medical drama and mystery detective story.
Tests showed that Margaret has had broken ribs in the past, though she didn’t tell them about this. This is the first in a series of lies and omissions from what she’s given about her medical past. When confronted, she creates more lies to cover them up, which are, of course, also found out. Then she tells them the wrong hospital when telling them where the broken ribs were treated.
All of this means that her medical history is up in the air for her current physicians, who have no idea what her past is really like and must waste valuable time digging that information up – or choose to proceed without it, which could make a big difference in her case.
Now for the MedeFile twist. Had Margaret not been telling lies and had merely forgotten most of this information – or was remembering it incorrectly – this would all have been different had she had a personal health record.
In that case, the doctors in the emergency room could have quickly stabilized her, brought up her PHR and known everything they needed about her medical history.
Admittedly, this alternative isn’t as interesting as a television show, but it does illustrate the importance of accurate, easily-accessible health histories. Incidentally, it would also have told them that Margaret was schizophrenic and thus much easier to understand her symptoms and treat her condition.
There are many, many benefits to electronic health records (EHR or PHR for personal health records), not the least of which is cost. Although the concept seems simple enough – just take current records and digitize them – it’s not that easy. Not only do the records themselves need to be created or converted to a universal, standardized format, but decisions about who can access them, how they can be safely stored, and other concerns are also of high importance.
One of the stated goals of the Obama administration’s health care plan was to get all medical practices, from hospitals to clinics and physician’s offices, consolidated to the same digital format for record keeping. This would facilitate easy communication between them so that your doctor would have access to your records at his office as well as in the hospital or even elsewhere.
The trouble is, this transition is not easy at all. It’s already been underway for over a decade, but is complicated by many details. So far, it’s been an industry transition and has been slow, but steady in its move towards combining ease of access with security. Now, with the new health care initiatives from Washington, the whole process will likely be moved towards a government-based solution.