We often encounter patients with little to no information in our medical record. During my anesthesia rotation, we encountered this regularly. One day, after seeing no history in the medical record, we went to talk to the patient in the preoperative holding area. After introducing ourselves, our patient handed us a credit-card-sized, laminated, reference sheet that included the patient's photo, date of birth, pertinent past medical history, medications and allergies. Her card was updated during each visit to her PCP. She kept the card in their wallet with her at all times.
Seeing that EHR systems are far from being able to communicate with one another, there should be a way to automate the creation of these wallet-health-cards both in a low-tech (e.g. paper) and high-tech (e.g. secure online portal) fashion. Let's ensure health information is being correctly transmitted between providers and cut down on wasted administrative time requesting faxed records & playing phone tag.
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