May 16, 2013

Doctors Do Not Want Patients to See EHR

In today's medical practice, one would think that patients should have access to their medical health records (EHRs). On the contrary say the doctors. 65% of doctors would agree to very limited access and 4% don't think patients should see any of their records, electronic or otherwise. Is this the reason for two sets of records kept by many medical practices and hospitals? What are they trying to hide?

Trust should be the hallmark of a doctor/patient relationship, but I say the trust is not there. It certainly is not on the doctor's part and the more I learn about errors committed by doctors, the less trust I have in doctors. Apparently I am in the minority on the patient side, as I don't think the EHR has improved my health care. 78% of patients do believe their healthcare has improved. I still need to rely on them, but this does not mean that I like it or feel that I am receiving better care. I have one doctor that I do not like seeing, but I have little choice, as he is the only doctor several other doctors will refer me to. Yet I feel very threatened being in the same room with him. He acts like a dictator and talks only at me.

A 2012 study found that doctors failed to read many test results after patients were discharged from the hospitals. Experts claimed that electronic records could help prevent important information from falling through the cracks. If they are right, why does the EHR not have this as part of the programming now? Apparently this is a feature that was not part of the original purchase price. So these errors will continue and information will continue to fall through the cracks. And this is just another reason for not wanting the patient, their caregiver, or their advocate from discovering this information and reminding them that something needs to be done.

Many of the EHRs are so poorly done and not interactive for the aid of the patient, that it may be years before patients begin to see even a part of their records. I have a difficult time believing that the attitudes of doctors will change and we as patients will be worse off for it. More fragmented records, more compromised records, and outright theft of supposedly secure records by electronic thieves. When this will end, I can only guess. Will the government get involved? Probably when it is too late.

No comments: