Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Electronic Medical Records in the Aftermath

Alright, you've seen me post about the advantages of using electonic medical records many times over the lifespan of this blog. Now I have a practical, real world scenario to share with you, one that hits very close to home for me as someone who lives on the Gulf Coast.

As you may have heard, we have had some bad weather down here, specifically Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. As a matter fact, evacuation during these storms took your humble narrator off line for several days resulting in a lack of postings here for roughly a week.

The people of Texas, our neighbor to the west, took a beating much like the one that Louisiana and Mississippi took three short years ago during Hurricane Katrina. A beating that has left thousands of people scattered, their homes and medical records decimated by the storm winds.

MediConnect Global, Inc., is a company that provides EMR services, and today they prove the worth of digital records in a huge way.

Via The MediConnect Blog:

MediConnect has retrieved or received requests to retrieve thousands of medical records from organizations in the areas most affected by Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Gustav, and Tropical Storm Fay. MediConnect will donate digitized copies of medical records to individuals, physicians, hospitals, law firms, insurance carriers or independent agents located in the designated disaster areas who submit a request accompanied by a HIPAA-compliant patient authorization. Those who need their records can go to www.mediconnect.net to begin the process of getting any records that may be in MediConnect’s archive.

As someone directly affected by these storms, I cannot express my happiness at this news. We often speak of the savings in time and efficiency that EMRs can bring to the overall health care equation. Now we have a practical illustration of another important aspect of implementing them: disaster recovery.
SOURCE: "Medical Records Lost During Hurricanes Replaced by MediConnect Donation" 08/29/08
photo courtesy of karllehenbauer used under its Creative Commons license

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