Electronic health records (EHR) make going to the doctor faster and more convenient. You can change doctors and know that the next physician will have your documents in moments, not days or weeks.
EHR bring another layer of issues, however. Features like “auto-populate” have replaced reading another person’s handwriting, and a mistake in the record can lead to an error in treatment.
These are some of the most common issues with health records.
Not long after medical practices started considering electronic records, legislation was put in place to make sure those records were secure. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gave a long list of provisions to guide medical practices in keeping your information safe.
HIPAA gave them guidance, but it is still up to your medical office to meet the standard. When you visit a medical provider, watch how the personnel handle patient information. Talk to the administrator at your medical provider to learn about what systems are in place to keep your information secure.
With manual records, the issues revolved around poor handwriting and typos. EHR systems have features that allow your medical team to copy and paste and auto-populate some of the data in the record.
While these features were intended to make recordkeeping simpler for exhausted medical personnel, there is now the potential for significant errors. Talk to your doctor about what information is in your records and verify that it is accurate. When possible, utilize systems that include a patient platform, so you can see what your medical team sees.