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Electronic Health Records

If you trust Google more than your doctor then maybe it's time to switch doctors - Jadelr and Cristina Cordova, Chasing Windmills

Electronic Health Records

image by: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Storing and retrieving your health and medical information couldn't be easier. And you can carry it with you anywhere you go.

Electronic health records (EHRs) started as way for doctors to organize their records, make ordering more convenient, reduce repetitive tasks, reduce errors caused by bad writing and so on. However, the physician side of EHRs has been somewhat slow to catch on because of the huge barriers to entry, such as converting existing records, changing the way documentation gets done and the cost of implementing a comprehensive system. Recent government financial incentives are, however, boosting acceptance of the MD office-based electronic medical record.

On the consumer side, some of the same issues have hindered large scale adoption of EHRs. First of all, it takes a long time to input the information and secondly, the record is only useful if it is kept up to date, placing a lot of pressure on people to manage the information correctly. Furthermore many people simply aren’t that comfortable handling medical information. However, as technology has improved, especially with mobile applications that make it easy for the user to retreive and enter data, the use and value of EHRs for consumers has grown.

Most families keep some kind of health records, even if it’s just copies of medical reports, a vaccination record or claims documents. Unfortunately, that kind of record keeping isn’t all that helpful when you’re in a doctor’s office and you can’t remember when you got your last tetanus shot or when you get home from a visit you realize that you wanted to ask about a strange symptom that developed after you started on your new prescription.

Storing information electronically can improve accuracy, provide information where you need it, when you need it and allow you to analyze yours or your family’s health, e.g., reviewing a chart of blood pressure readings or weights. Utilizing an electronic health record can do all of that for you and much, much more.

Here's our picks for the EHR that may work for you! Most are subscription services, some are free, but whatever you use, having your health and medical records and those of your family at your fingertips is an invaluable service, especially in an emergency.