As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA, it was mandated that all practitioners institute electronic medical records by the year 2014. By this point in time, most patients are familiar with EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and EHR (Electronic Health Records) but do they really understand just how important those records are and how having access to those records can have a profound impact on their lives? If you are curious about how those records can be used, consider the following three ways in which they can be used.
1. Communication Among Practitioners
Before the advent of EMRs, communication between doctors could be a lengthy process. Now, all your providers can have access to your medical records within moments and this could literally save your life in a crisis. From drug allergies to diseases or conditions you suffer from, any practitioner knows how to go forward with treatment in the event you are unable to communicate. They only need to know who your primary care doctor is and which EMR platform to access.
2. Personal Injury Litigation
If there is one thing everyone knows about insurance companies it would be that they like to get paid but aren’t fond of paying out on claims against an insurance policy. In cases of personal injury, they will often try to argue that there were pre-existing conditions or old injuries causing the pain and suffering you are now experiencing. This is where a team like American Record Retrieval can search for, and find, any records available to prove the injury or loss is new and justified as being claimed. These teams are like electronic investigators who can search back decades to find the medical records necessary to win that lawsuit for you. If you find yourself in a lawsuit, pick up a CDI pocket guide to make sure that the medical codes your doctor had you under or correct.
3. Class Action Lawsuits
Speaking of medical record investigators, those medical records are extremely useful in class action lawsuits, of which there are many at any given point in time. Whether it is a household product like Roundup weed killer or a drug that resulted in serious injury up to, and including, death. It is vital for your legal team to prove that the losses you or a loved one sustained were a direct result of the product or service in question. In cases like these, it is vital to establish a direct link between the product or pharmaceutical and the illness, disease or injury you are now suffering from. Your medical records are a vital part of this ‘proof’.
Obviously, it is important to have all your medical records centrally located in electronic (digital) format for speedy access in case of emergency, but those very same medical records are used for so many other reasons. These are just a few. One doctor may find something another missed, thereby saving your life while an ER team might not inject you with a medication that would kill you instantly. Although you may not be happy about the potential for being hacked, remember that ease of access can save your life. That’s the most important reason of all.