Maintaining Personal Health Records

Medical Alert Options

What would you want the ER doctor to know about you, or your loved one? And how would you tell them? Let us know in the comments below.

Lee Howard produced this YouTube video to share her experience and endorse electronic medical records as an alternative to paper. She had scheduled a visit to the Mayo Clinic to help with a difficult diagnosis and was worried sick because her twin sister died earlier. She thought she might have the same thing. The clinic asked for a thorough medical history, but the records were spread everywhere and were in paper form. Lee’s nursing background gave her insight into how to gather and present them in a binder for the medical staff.

As shown in the illustration above, there are many ways to alert medical staff of allergies or important medical conditions. It could be as primitive as a tattoo or as modern as electronic records stored online in a health vault that only you and those you authorize can access. But if you’re unconscious, how will they know?

You could carry or wear something with access codes, such as a smartphone app, a USB thumb drive, a card carried in your wallet, or even an RFID tag implanted under your skin.

Useful Videos describing Electronic Medical Records

Consumers describe what a Personal Health Record (PHR) can do for you. (2:31min)

Glorryann Bryant talks about her experience when her father was in the hospital and the medical staff asked for information she didn’t have. (2:11 min)

Fast moving and information packed video about Electronic Medical Record in the US Healthcare system. (5:42 min)

IBM created electronic medical records systems 50 years ago, but we still rely mostly on paper. Why? With today’s advanced technology, can’t we find ways to overcome privacy concerns and safeguard the data from abuse? How can we cut through government and institutional bureaucracy? Would standardization help? And what will it take to get there?

Related Articles

Electronic Personal Health Records, 5/23/2011

Google Health R.I.P., 6/26/2011

Get your electronic health record: It’s your right LA Times, 9/11/2015. I commented