Thursday, November 30, 2006

Health care and IT | InfoWorld | Column | 2006-11-28 | By Ephraim Schwartz

Health care and IT | InfoWorld | Column | 2006-11-28 | By Ephraim Schwartz: "Think of the EMR as a health history repository for all of a person’s medical records, all in one place and accessible by any system at any medical office, hospital, outpatient facility, or EMR service.

Closely related to an EMR is an even newer concept called a PHR, Personal Health Record. A PHR might be stored on a USB key fob. Get knocked off your motorcycle as I did recently, and the tech in the ambulance might plug the USB device into a notebook and bring up your entire medical history, including past motorcycle mishaps!

Because an EMR has all the medical data in one place, it can, for example, chart the history of lab tests across time. If it detects a disturbing trend, it can send an alert not only to the doctor but also to the patient. If I get an e-mail that my cholesterol is trending up, I can take action immediately rather than waiting six weeks until my next doctor’s appointment. It might even link me to a site that offers low cholesterol diets."

A PHR can be smarter than your doctor !

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