As The Countdown To Obamacare Begins, Maryland Company Seeks To Give Patients A Voice In The Debate Over Unifying And Accessing Their Own Health Records
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Managed Care Weekly Digest -- Medical Informatics, Inc., a corporation committed to patient-centered technological innovations, has launched a web-based public education campaign to educate patients regarding the role of unique patient identifiers in identifying patient health records from different sources. The grassroots effort's vision of "One Patient | One Number | One Card" aims to unify health records from different providers, irrespective of whether they are paper-based or electronic, and give access to those records to the patients themselves (see also Medical Informatics, Inc.).
"The timing for this is absolutely critical," said Dr. Steve Behram, President of Medical Informatics, Inc., who is also a practicing OB/GYN and one of the effort's organizers. "With the start of Affordable Care Act, patients may have to seek care from potentially new providers, however, the gaps in our ability to share medical information between these different providers has not been adequately addressed by our current record-keeping systems."
Regarding the problems with electronic medical records, Dan Morhaim (Maryland House of Delegates 11th District, Baltimore County) recently said: "But as the Affordable Care Act launches and, presumably, more Americans seek treatment, there is no standard system nationwide, and entry errors and inconsistencies are becoming common."
Most electronic medical records (EMR) products are sold as branded products to physicians, offices, and hospitals with little or no input from patients. In general, the vendors of these products do not allow their product to communicate freely with other branded EMR products, resulting in the lack of interoperability seen today. Additionally, there is no provision to communicate with providers that remain paper-based. The result is that patients' records are scattered and poorly coordinated and difficult to access by patients.
Medical Informatics, Inc. has launched an effort to educate patients and to re-focus the national debate on the needs of the patients. By utilizing a unique patient identifier, individual health records can be identified irrespective of where the service was rendered or what system was used. Patients should be able to have instant access over all of their records from all of their providers. It also advocates for a vendor-neutral way to bridge the divide between different electronic means of records storage, as well as bridging the divide between paper and electronic records.
This initiative was widely applauded by legislators and key policy makers. "Medical Informatics, Inc. seeks to improve healthcare by improving accessibility to records, improving communications between providers and empowering patients to take care of their own care," said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md). "I support Medical Informatics' efforts to improve our health care system," said Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8).
Patients can share their thoughts, their stories and experiences and they can learn more about current medical record-keeping practices. They can submit their stories and videos through the project site: http://MyHealthNumber.US. Medical Informatics, Inc. is seeking to develop a true "grass-roots" effort to change the way the healthcare industry views and manages patient records.
Keywords for this news article include: Medical Records, Records as Topic, Medical Informatics Inc..
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