The U.S. government spent $36 billion computerizing health records, yet they’re of limited help in the COVID-19 crisis.
The rapidly spreading coronavirus has led to the cancellation of sporting events, conferences and travel, with Congress and President Donald Trump scrambling to catch up to the spiraling public health crisis. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has issued long-awaited rules aimed at making it easier for patients to carry copies of their medical records. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Patients would have far more control over their health care with complete medical histories stored on their phones, proponents say.
The web-based standard FHIR — pronounced “fire” — could hasten the day when we can view our full medical histories on a smartphone screen. Tech giants are hungry for a piece of the pie, but obstacles remain.
The federal government funneled billions in subsidies to software vendors and some overstated or deceived the government about what their products could do, according to whistleblowers.
Special interests and congressional inaction blocked efforts to track the safety of electronic medical records, leaving patients at risk.
Amazon, along with a host of other technology companies, is working on ways to use its smart speaker devices to bring a range of health care services into your home.
Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, but when not used well they can strain the doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Wei Wei Lee, an internist with the University of Chicago Medicine, has developed strategies to make sure tech is a tool, not a barrier.
Some patient advocates say your doctor’s notes offer insights you might never hear from your physician, putting patient and provider on the same page.
Some Veterans Affairs hospitals around the country use writers to record patients’ life stories, then place a short biography in each vet’s medical record. The My Life, My Story program gives clinicians another way to get to know their patients.