My previous two posts lamented the incredibly bad the documentation I get from a local hospital is. In truth, the documentation I get from everyone is terrible. Seldom does it tell me what I actually want to know, and if there is useful information it is buried in an avalanche of yada yada. The main reason for this is that documentation is driven by our ridiculous payment system, which requires us to follow arcane rules to generate notes that justify the obscure codes we submit for money from the payors. This is the reason for much of the gibberish. These rules, combined with computers\’ ability to quickly and efficiently generate drivel (see also The Entire Internet) are the hot house and Miracle Gro for meaningless words. Sprinkle the rules on a computerized medical record and stand back! Useless words and codes will spew out at you like milk from the mouth of an overfed baby.
Good news: my local hospital has the fanciest, newest, coolest computer system (costing major bucks, of course) and now is routinely sending me \”transition of care\” documents on my patients.
Bad news: they are horrible.
Seriously, we get several of these documents per day and often can\’t figure out what the document is about. On the bright side, sometimes after taking 10-20 minutes of looking through the 12-14 page document, we do actually gain some useful information.
Long-time reader, first time writer! I want to know why it is that my doctor makes me pay to get my own medical records. It seems like since they are my records, they should be free to me! Can you explain this to me?
– Lucy in Texas
Thanks, Lucy, for asking such an astute question that is near and dear to my heart.
There is, in fact, a simple answer as to why doctors don\’t want you to lay hands on their medical records, Lucy. It\’s the same reason you don\’t want your son\’s underwear after his first semester in college (known to have broken autoclaves): they stink.
Why do they stink? It\’s complicated. The best way to see this answer is to look into the past. Way back.
When I say we need more tech, I am not saying we need more computerization so we can produce a higher volume of medically irrelevant word garbage. I am not saying we need to gather more points of data that can measure physicians and \”reward\” them if they input data well enough. The tech I am referring to is like that I used regarding my father. I want technology that does two things: connects and organizes. I want to be able to coordinate care with specialists and to reach out to my patients. I want my patients to be able to reach me when they need my help. Technology can do this; it sure did for my dad.
So, the question has been raised: why am I doing this? Why re-invent the EMR wheel? What is so different about what I am doing that makes it necessary to go through such a painful venture? I ask myself this same question, actually. Here\’s my answer to that question: What medical record systems offer What
A patient calls or emails me with a problem. I talk with them over the course of a few days, using whatever form of communication works best. Eventually, they need to come to the office to be seen – either for something needing to be done in-person (examination, procedure, or lab test), or because of
It has been nearly 6 months since I started my new practice, since I took the jump (or, more accurately, was pushed off the ledge) into a brave new world. It seems very distant, like I should get Shirley MacLaine or Gwyneth Paltrow to help me channel my old sad self. It is tempting. I
BRAD WOMACK \”Patient engagement.\” What is \”Patient Engagement?\” It sounds like a season of \”The Bachelor\” where a doctor dates hot patients. It wouldn\’t surprise me if it was. After all, patient engagement is hot; it\’s the new buzz phrase for health wonks. There was a even an entire day at the recent HIMSS conference
For the record: I am a geek. I love technology. I adopted EMR when all the cool kids were using paper. Instead of loitering in the \”in\” doctors lounge making eyes at the nurses, I was writing clinical content and making my care more efficient. I was getting \”meaningful use\” out of my EMR even when