About three months into my wife's pregnancy with my daughter, something strange happened at the doctor's office. Not to my wife or the baby per se, but rather to the way her doctors kept records. Everything went electronic.
No more notes with handwriting that even the clinician that jotted down said notes couldn’t understand. Instead scribblings that looked like hieroglyphics were crisp and clean to the eye.
I was impressed. Here I was seeing the implementation of the very same thing I had been writing about these past few years. I said at the time that, truly doctors offices are entering the electronic age. Electronic Health Records, EHR's or as Microsoft Word's dynamic spelling feature likes to call them HER's.
But what if we could take this idea just a bit further? What if patients had access to their EHR? What if they could store vital stats and information on a device that could be uploaded to any computer. I mean you could place your vitals on a flash drive.
I'm not trying to sound pretentious, but rather I'm trying to think of something that would give patients more ownership of their own physical well being. Just imagine going into the a doctor's office and being able to not only have the physician retrieve your stats from a computer, but also being able to have a copy of that same information for yourself - possibly on an IPAD.
It gives you a better discussion point, when you're talking to the physician about a potential health issue or problem. During the pregnancy, I remember when my wife was asked if she had ever had any problems with hypertension before - and how the conversation suddenly changed when we mentioned an incident that happened back in 2007. What if that incident was well documented, including what her blood pressure reading was at the time, and how long it took for her pressure to come down.
Instead we relied on memory, and memory as you know can be a tricky thing. Especially, when you have a physician grilling you.
I think the next step truly in revamping healthcare facilities is truly putting the information in patient’s hands, in an accessible, easy to read format.