December 5, 2011

Another First in Patient Care

Apparently, with changes in the health care system and the likely decrease in Medicare funding projected for the next year, changes are happening especially in medical offices that now have electronic record systems in place and operating. On Tuesday, I was in the lab for tests and on the wall was a sign asking patients to notify lab personnel of any lab work done in the last 30 days in the hospital and hospital clinics.

I did this and the person headed for the computer and pulled up the lab results and said that makes only the A1c test left. Therefore, that was the only test that needed to be performed before seeing the endocrinologists. Before, this would not have stopped duplicate tests. Times are changing.

A1c was the same as my last visit. This was better than I had expected considering the surgery and my blood glucose results since then. Maybe my extra care in the two preceding months helped. I would like to think so and hopefully it would have been under 6.0 if not for the surgery.

I did comment on this to the endocrinologist and she stated this was a new policy and that yes they were doing this to avoid duplication of tests performed within the last 30 days. I asked how they liked the computer system. It is saving money and making communications between doctors, labs, clinics, and the hospital much easier. They are still keeping the manual records and updating them as fast as possible into the computer.

I am sure what they are all waiting for is the Medicare payments to come faster and the savings to be distributed. I cannot say I blame them with the proposed cuts that may take place unless our Congress gets their act together. Does not seem likely considering the status of affairs. Yet, the Department of Transportation keeps awarding millions almost weekly for this project and that project.

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