Wednesday, May 6, 2009


So, what else is new? Well, I finally received my medical record CD from our medical group. I now have the complete record of my health care for the past 3 years on my computer and soon that same record will be on my secure space on Google Health. From there, I can choose to distribute the information, as needed, to any other health professional. Cool? Not really. I had to wait for a few weeks to receive the CD which contains a Portable Document File (pdf) with the scanned contents of my actual health record. I had to pay the doctor $20 for this. For my own records…and records that could just as easily have been emailed to me within an hour of my request. Or, I should have been able to drop by the office with a jump drive and ask them to drop my file onto it. 30 seconds later I could be on my way. But no, I have a file on a CD and that file takes up 1/200th of the space on a plastic disk. Tell me; who uses CD's anymore?

The medical profession is so far behind the times when it comes to electronic records that it is an embarrassment, or it should be. Electronic record keeping systems are 20th century, not a future dream. Let me tell you…

Some years before I retired, the construction company I worked for decided to digitize all of their records and install record management software. The initial effort was not easy as they had to scan in years worth of invoices, contracts, audits, etc, etc. Once that was complete, scanning became a daily task for every piece of paper transmitted to our corporate offices; that was paper from all 16 of our branch offices. Eventually the branch offices began to scan as well and paper no longer flowed through the system, electrons were the new messenger. All of which enabled me, or anyone else in the company, to search and access any document we needed. Did I want to see a payroll record for June of 1998 from the Memphis office? Click! How about a shipping document from the Mystic office? Click. There it was and I could even see who signed for the shipment. Now that's cool! And this whole scenario could be played out in a doctor's office in a fraction of the time it took us.

Truth is, I'm not at all upset about the $20 for the CD. But, I am upset that this is the best that they can come up with. Where is their vision? Sigh…


  1. Wow, a CD! How modern! I say that ironically, as compared to a lot of medical offices it is truly modern.

    Government isn't much better. They have a tonne of information on us, but it's all filed in different formats in different departments at different levels of government. The left hand NEVER speaks to the right, and god help you if you need them to cough up some of that info. Sadly, this is a good thing.

  2. Sigh, again. It does make you wonder doesn't it?

  3. Just be thankful you have health insurance. It's very scary not to have it, I know.

  4. I'm definitely thankful for Medicare...I would be in a world of hurt (literally) without it.