MEDICAL RECORDS: New Products Fill ‘Smart Card’ Void
Until health care providers fully sign on to electronic medical records and patients carry their medical information on a "smart card" microchip, two new products offer alternatives for consolidating and sorting personal medical records, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Personal Health Record, a CD-ROM record-keeping system, allows users to enter medical histories for each family member and add information about procedures and insurance information. Dr. Ira Denton, creator of PHR, first offered the software to some of his patients when he retired last year. Now, he says, some of those patients "showing up in other offices around town with printed summaries of PHR information or even with their laptops." Denton added, "Bridging the information gap among disconnected providers is powerful assurance that everybody stays informed and nothing drops through the cracks." Another new product, the "Savard Health Record," includes a spiral notebook with information on how to obtain medical records from doctors and how to read medical charts and reports. The binder format allows patients to add forms and copies of test results and other information. These products can help patients to quickly provide physicians with needed information, especially in emergency situations. Moreover, they can reduce medical errors by providing legible, complete information for patients treated by multiple doctors (Landro, 5/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.