When my father had a serious fall last month, I was tasked with playing a much larger role in his health. I had heard stories about people taking care of their parents - some were horror stories - but my particular story is turning out to be a bit different.
That's mostly because of electronic health records - and a program that allows me to monitor my father's medications and make sure his prescriptions are up to date. The other part is because my father finally trusted me enough to see his passwords - but that's another story.
But now I'm able to log onto his physician's secure website, and monitor him closely. This is crucial since my father lives nearly five hours away.
Ten years ago, this never would have been possible. The bulky paper records coupled with HIPPA compliance would have been enough to drive someone insane and create a situation where it would be impossible to have this sort of intimacy with health records.
Ultimately, electronic health records are going to be the life blood for aging populations. The records are going to be a godsend for the caretakers of those individuals too.