Electronic Medical Records

As I reflect on my career in Sports Medicine / Athletic Training, dating back to my college days studying Athletic Training in the seventies, there certainly has been a lot of evolutionary change in the area of management of health care data. I recall the early days when Appalachian’s Head Athletic Trainer Ron Kanoy filled out NAIRS forms weekly, and returned them to Penn State where the research was conducted. Those were the days of injury surveillance. Basically, these were data collection to look at the incidence of injury and researchers made scientific statements and recommendations relative to the prevention of injury and training and conditioning trends.
In 1982, the NCAA Injury Surveillance System (ISS) was developed to provide current and reliable data on injury trends in intercollegiate athletics. This program was overseen by Randy Dick until June 2008. He did a wonderful job of involving NCAA member institutions in sharing data collected at the institutions with the NCAA to make aggregate reports by regions and division of athletic participation. Randy also was effective in involving professional medical associations such as American College of Sports Medicine, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in injury surveillance. The NCAA provided injury and exposure data yearly from a sample of NCAA member institutions. From the data, individual NCAA Sport Rules Committees and by the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports could use the data for appropriate rule changes or conditioning protocols.
Today, much is being written relative to Electronic Medical Records or Electronic Health Record. President Obama’s Stimulus Package includes some $17 billion for individual physicians to obtain monies to implement EMR in their practices! Those that are non-compliant in 2015 will have a penalty with decreased reimbursement rates for Medicare.
Such a system, an electronic health record refers to a medical record in digital format. EHR are usually accessed on a computer, often over a network. It may be made up of electronic medical records (EMRs) from many locations or sources. The data can includes patient demographics, medical history, medicine and allergy lists (including immunization status), laboratory test results, radiology images, billing records and advanced directives.
Such a concept is being embraced by professional sport associations including the National Hockey League. With the ability to communicate with various providers of service (specialty physicians, labs, MRIs and radiology, etc.) medical professionals see this as an opportunity to be a single entry of medical information. Further, by partnering/linking with various modalies or services, again the data is entered only once.
It is not a matter of if EMR becomes a reality, but when. The latest development is the personal health record (PHR) is an electronic, universally available, lifelong resource of health information used by individuals to make health decisions. People own and manage their information in the PHR, which comes from healthcare providers and the individual. The PHR is maintained in a secure and private environment, with the individual determining rights of access. The PHR is separate from and does not replace the legal record of any provider. A great example is Microsoft’s HealthVault. This awesome system lets you manage your data as you control what is in your file. From HealthVault you can:
• Organize your health information, with everything in one place
• Simplify your life: enter health info once, use it in many ways
• Gain insight with data that helps you make informed decisions

Your HealthVault has inherent Privacy Principles:
• You control the Microsoft HealthVault record you create.
• You decide what goes into your HealthVault record.
• You decide who can see, use and share your information.
• Microsoft won’t use your information in HealthVault to personalize ads or services without explicit permission.
Of course, more and detailed information is available at Microsoft’s HealthVault site.
As we move forward, I see more management of medical information in HealthVault and similar concepts and relationships being established with EMR solutions selected by schools/institutions or professional clubs with their providers of service. Again, the sky is the limit for the future of this concept.
In closing , the primary distinction between a Personal Health Record and an Electronic Medical Record is that the patient controls information in the PHR, while the doctor or hospital—or both—controls information in the EHR. Check this out – it is exciting.

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2 Responses to “Electronic Medical Records”

  1. will6 Says:

    I completely agree. My son’s ice hockey team could use this to their advantage. I have a HealthVault account for him and use it regularly to reference all of his important healthcare information. There’s also the ability to track fitness records, so he can use it to record what he’s doing when he is training. The multiple usages are endless.

  2. Jim Says:

    I agree as well. Its important to keep information that is important.

    I looked into a company called Nortec EHR but they are for physicans.
    I spoke to one of the reps and he was very aware of what’s going on in government and how healthcare is changing for both the good and bad.

    if your interested visit http://www.nortecehr.com

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