Primary Care doc, Rob Lamberts M.D., muses about the lack of communication between providers. He states, 'Tests get ordered, medications get changed, procedures, hospitalizations, even surgeries are done without communication to other doctors who would benefit from this information.' He suggests a possible solution like a 'decentralized communication network' where consumers allow different providers to access their information through the internet.
What about hospital handoffs? The WSJ's health blog shares that the Joint Commission-Hospital Collaboration is also tackling miscommunication between clinicians. Looking at ten hospitals and what happens when a patient is transferred from one clinician to the next, the Joint Commission found hand offs were ineffective 37% of the time and are associated with 80% of serious medical errors. Why?
Joshua Seidman Ph.D., of the Office of the National Coordinator, writes on HealthITBuzz about his experience using a patient portal site to monitor his dad's condition when his dad was admitted to an ICU at a Boston hospital in the middle of the night. Seidman was 500 miles away and able to review lab data, medications, and reports. 'I was able to make sense of all of it with help from internists I work with,' he says. 'Now that I've had this experience, it would be absolutely maddening and emotionally painful if I had to go through this again without access to data.' Will meaningful use of EHRs encourage HIT to move in the direction of incorporating patient portals and offering this service?
By' Sarah Jorgenson