One of the latest trends in medicine is the growing industry around personal health records (PHR). These are medical records kept by the patient, rather than a doctor, to allow both portability of information and patient-control of it.
A PHR is a private, patient-owned medical record that can be accessed and shared as needed. Companies like Medefile are offering this as a service to people who want control of their medical histories and records. The advantages for the patient are tremendous.
Traditionally, when you enter a doctor’s office for the first time, you are required to fill out several forms which include your recollection (however accurate) of your medical history. You are then often presented with release forms that must be filled out so that the doctor can request more information from other medical professionals you’ve seen in the past. All of this wastes time, paper, and is often inaccurate.
You might recall that you had a bladder infection in 1990 and that it was treated with an antibiotic, but you don’t likely remember the name anymore. That could be important. You never know.
With a PHR, you can not only find out the information on demand in order to fill out accurate forms. That’s just the beginning. Let’s say you live in Florida and are visiting California when you realize that you’re out of your prescription. You call your doctor in Florida, but he’s out for the day and the nurse cannot send a prescription to California (neither could your doctor, for that matter). So you must visit a California-based doctor.
You make an appointment and get lucky and are able to get in to see one today. That doctor, however, must confirm with your doctor in Florida. He makes the call and half an hour later, he gets a call back from your doctor who in turn has called his office to verify your records and prescription. Now you’re likely paying consultations to two doctors just to get a $10 bottle of pills.
If you had a PHR like Medefile, you could avoid this. You get the appointment in California, visit the doctor, give your access to your PHR, he sees your history and prescription background and has no trouble writing you a quick 7-day prescription to get you through your visit to California and back to Florida. Easy, no extra consultation fees, and much quicker.
PHR companies like Medefile offer this service at a fee. The service comes with extras, such as smart phone apps, 24/7 access by both Internet and phone, secure, HIPAA compliant records, and they will go to each of your doctors and medical providers and get the information for you – no hunting it down yourself.
You can create accounts that are permanent or temporary for doctors, pharmacists, family, or anyone else you want to have full or partial access to your PHR.
This is a fast-emerging, patient-empowering market that is opening quickly. Medefile is one of the top providers of PHRs on the market today.