Wanting to be Meaningful
If you’ve had an exam in our office the last 47 days you may have noticed some changes. We ask more history questions. We are checking blood pressure on all patients. We ‘gasp’ are recording your height and weight.
Do we seem more “meaningful” yet?
Several years ago the federal government made a decision to improve the portability of health information from office to office and from office to patient. What would happen if you were knocked unconscious and taken to an emergency room for treatment – how would the doctor know what diseases you have? How would they know what medications you are taking? How would they know what allergies you have?
Doesn’t it seem silly that in 2012 your doctor can look at your smartphone and figure out most of your life – but they can’t easily obtain your medical history?
The first step in improving the portability of health information is for providers to become “meaningful” users of electronic medical records. “Meaningful” has been defined by a set of standards related to what information is collected and standards dictating the way that information is recorded and stored. And that is why on September 5th, after much preparation and consternation, our office upgraded our outdated electronic medical record to a new “meaningful” version.
Our staff has grabbed the bull by the horns, and I’m proud of their efforts. Dr. Kubica and I have found every inadequacy with our new software, but we too are adjusting and settling in. We all come to the office everyday feeling more and more “meaningful”. . . ok, not really. But we do feel that we made the right move – we are part of a huge national effort to make healthcare better.
For those patients who have seen us stare blankly at the screen searching for the right button to push or box to click . . . thank you for your patience as we become more meaningful.