The Race to a Paperless Culture

It is awesome how after you recognize some thing, you get started to pay out interest and in spending consideration you find out a complete new environment.

Quite a few weeks ago I wrote an post on moveable health care information and the doable employs of technological innovation to bring component of the medical documents from novelty status to a mainstream professional medical system. A several months afterwards I was released to a new generation of portable clinical data that had been capable of synchronizing with the digital health-related data at a physician’s office environment or at a clinic.

For individuals of you who are not familiar with moveable medical documents permit me a moment to give some definitions. A transportable health-related record is a USB push unit these as a Thumb Generate, a USB wristband, a USB flash drive wristwatch, pendant, or other portable mass storage that can be worn on the human body connected to a belt or keys and retains basic healthcare info in a database form. Virtually all these devices now are password protected and give different amounts of performance.

A own wellness history is the on-line equal of the portable healthcare document. This software exists on the Web with storage preserved at a third-social gathering web-site. The facts is once more password shielded and in an unexpected emergency can be accessed by the health care provider with an Web relationship and that password.

An electronic medical file is a software package deal utilized by hospital healthcare facility physicians that replaces the paper client chart. This is an formal document and issue to significant govt regulation. By 2008 each health care provider in the United States should be executing concrete programs to changeover from paper to digital records and by 2014 all paper ought to be gone.

With that in mind let us switch now back to the moveable medical data. This is a market place that is exploding. A couple of shorter weeks back I wrote an short article, my second in this arena, that explained 9 goods of this kind. Two times back I did a new Google look for on this subject matter (okay, I was determined for an article subject matter) and I found no fewer than 24 corporations now supplying these gadgets in the United States, Canada and England. Lots of of these products are now becoming made in Taiwan and China and mounted straight on the flash drives. They are coming in every condition, size and kind but unfortunately with very little or no features.

Of course, they all have some variety of password defense and an unexpected emergency display screen in which basic details can be observed with no the use of the password. They maintain information and facts such as living wills, organ donor cards, healthcare surrogate contracts, past professional medical histories, allergy symptoms, medications and a handful of keep better amounts of info. Two of them combine with on the net particular health records but only just one can import and export to digital health-related data.

None of these techniques however have a person standard piece that is essential for trustworthiness in the healthcare environment. It is named change monitoring and it is the skill for the healthcare professional reading through the transportable professional medical history to look at what alterations have been built in the transportable professional medical history and what existed in the record before the improve was produced. Improve tracking is an inside audit of the program and makes certain that there has been no tampering that could threaten a patient’s daily life.

At minimum there was not such a technique right up until this week. This week [ announced the prototype release of Version 1.2, a portable medical record with change tracking, high-level encryption and password protection.

This is truly something new and represents a second generation of portable medical record.

Where will this new medical device find a home?

As the water resistant or splash resistant USB devices these units are already finding a home on the wrists of scuba divers, sky divers, mountain bikers and others who enjoy high fun/ high risk sports.

But I envision a larger market. I envision a day when rather than receiving a flimsy paper wristband at the hospital or nursing home a patient has a portable medical record in a waterproof band around their wrist. When the nurse comes by with their wireless Tablet computer to chart she simply plugs the patient record band in and the records are immediately synchronized. The patient goes nowhere without their chart on their wrist.

When they go home the patient takes the band with them carrying the entire chart in miniature form. The hospital has its copy. The patient has their copy and their copy goes back to the doctor’s office.

In the event of an emergency the patient’s band is on their wrist and it does not matter what emergency room they go into, what EMS service picks them up all the important information is at the fingertips of those there to save their life.

I envision a day when my disaster medical assistance team (MDMS/DMAT-FL3) provides care in a Katrina like event after a natural disaster with subsequent flooding and places a USB flash drive wristband around the wrist of every evacuee. Information on federal assistance, registration for finding lost family members, their own personal information as well as a health record will travel with them from the moment of rescue until their final destination. If they already had a personal medical record on their wrist or in their pocket or around their neck as an independent we in the MDMS/DMAT-FL3 would be able to plug their device into our computers and upload the important information to help them recover their lives and help us treat their injuries.

This second generation of flash drive device holds tremendous promise not only for the transfer of information but even the prevention of medical errors by ensuring that the most basic information is in the hands of those who are making the most important decisions.

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