The Race to a Paperless Society

It is amazing how once you recognize a thing, you start out to pay back notice and in paying attention you discover a entire new earth.

Several weeks ago I wrote an report on transportable professional medical documents and the feasible works by using of technological know-how to provide element of the professional medical data from novelty standing to a mainstream professional medical system. A couple of weeks later on I was released to a new technology of portable clinical information that were able of synchronizing with the electronic health-related information at a physician’s workplace or at a hospital.

For those of you who are not common with portable professional medical data enable me a instant to give some definitions. A moveable health care history is a USB push device these types of as a Thumb Generate, a USB wristband, a USB flash travel wristwatch, pendant, or other moveable mass storage that can be worn on the body connected to a belt or keys and holds fundamental medical info in a database type. Almost all these products now are password secured and offer you varying degrees of performance.

A personal wellbeing history is the on the net equivalent of the moveable medical file. This program exists on the Net with storage managed at a 3rd-celebration internet site. The details is once again password guarded and in an crisis can be accessed by the healthcare supplier with an World-wide-web relationship and that password.

An digital healthcare file is a program deal utilized by medical center healthcare facility doctors that replaces the paper affected person chart. This is an official doc and subject to substantial federal government regulation. By 2008 every single health care service provider in the United States have to be executing concrete options to transition from paper to digital documents and by 2014 all paper ought to be gone.

With that in head let’s turn now back again to the transportable professional medical records. This is a current market that is exploding. A couple short weeks in the past I wrote an short article, my 2nd in this arena, that explained 9 merchandise of this form. Two times in the past I did a new Google lookup on this subject (all right, I was determined for an report topic) and I observed no fewer than 24 firms now presenting these products in the United States, Canada and England. A lot of of these equipment are now being manufactured in Taiwan and China and mounted right on the flash drives. They are coming in each and every form, dimensions and kind but regrettably with minimal or no functionality.

Indeed, they all have some kind of password defense and an crisis display screen wherever basic details can be observed with no the use of the password. They maintain information and facts these as residing wills, organ donor playing cards, healthcare surrogate contracts, past professional medical histories, allergy symptoms, medications and a number of maintain better ranges of knowledge. Two of them combine with online personal health and fitness records but only one can import and export to digital health care information.

None of these techniques on the other hand have just one essential piece that is expected for credibility in the healthcare earth. It is called improve monitoring and it is the ability for the healthcare expert looking at the moveable professional medical file to glimpse at what improvements have been built in the portable clinical history and what existed in the report just before the transform was created. Alter monitoring is an interior audit of the process and ensures that there has been no tampering that could threaten a patient’s daily life.

At the very least there was not these a process till this week. This 7 days [ 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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