Access to Medical records
To become a well-informed, self-responsible person you need access to all
the information collected about you in Physician and Hospital records. Some
progress has been made in electronic records that are easily shared, but there
is a need for a revolutionary change in the way medical records are organized
and shared. An online service Picnic Health is a step in the right direction.
They stated:” Doctors increasingly use electronic medical record systems instead
of paper files, which is great news for getting all your records together.
Because of some recent legal changes, most doctors using these computer systems
must now have what’s known as a “Patient Portal” — a website and/or app that
allows you to electronically access a subset of your medical records. If you
have one of these portals, you’ll enter your username and password in Picnic
Health’s secure signup process. Our system then automates pulling records out of
your patient portal, using your username and password to secure access. We’ll
also research whether your doctor has a portal available and help you get signed
up if you aren’t already... For most people, not all of your information is
available through patient portals, both because not all doctors have them set up
and because they’re usually missing some key information like doctor’s notes and
medical images.” [i]
Medical Information must be understood to have value so that some education
in medical terms and methods is required. A revolutionary change would equip
most intelligent people with basic knowledge and resources to make sense of
their records. Another requirement is to encourage physicians and other medical
record sources to use language that can be understood without an MD degree.
Online Information Sharing
There is an abundance of medical information and alternative care sites on the
internet. Patient groups with specific diagnoses often start website sites to
share information. The challenge to anyone seeking useful information is to find
reliable and relevant information. Sometimes patients sharing experiences
are more helpful than standard medical advice. WebMD is an example
of a readable and reliable information source. [ii] For
people with serious disease, a more focused less commercial source is desirable.
The Johns Hopkins Medical library is a reliable source. [iii]
The US National Library of Medicine Provides an online resource, Medline Plus.
They describe:” MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web
site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National
Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library, it brings you
information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can
understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime,
anywhere, for free.”
For real scholars with a scientific background medical search software
can be useful. I use ReadCube. [v]
As an author
providing medical information online for 25 years, I utilize the medical
literature every day. A the same time , I have a detailed knowledge and
specific points of view. I often try to steer patients from MDs who deal only
with lab tests and prescribe drugs toward strategies of self-care, modifying and
changing disease causing conditions.
PicnicHealth accessed online Feb 2016 https://picnichealth.com/how-it-works
[ii] . Web MD. Accessed online March 2017 http://www.webmd.com/
[iii] Johns Hopkins Medicine Accessed Online Feb 2017
Medline Plus. Accessed online March 2017.https://www.medlineplus.gov/
[v] Read Cube. Medical Search Engine.
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