Monday, November 30, 2020


Greetings and welcome to STAT, the blog for the Central Florida Electronic Health Records (EHR) public education and outreach. This blog is committed to providing Central Florida communities with clear information about the big changes coming to health care records. He here at STAT want to help you take some of the mystery out of EHRs by showing you how EHR will make heath care faster, smoother and safer for you and your loved ones.

Not sure about EHR or how EHR will help make health care more effective? Here are some helpful places to get started:

·       Not sure what EHR is? Check out our helpful “What is an EHR?” page.
·       Wondering how EHR will change your current health care? See our “What EHRs mean for my heath care?” for all the improvements EHR will make.
·       “What benefits can an EHR can give me?” Click here to find out why your health care provider is making the switch and how it will make things easier for both you and your doctor.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Paper Free Healthcare

Paper Free Healthcare (5:06)
A powerful video highlighting problems caused by paper records for physicians and patients and promotes electronic health records for safety, organization, and efficiency. Created by a company specializing in medical solutions, including EHR software (Allscripts).

Advantages of Electronic Health Records

EHR doesn't just help on the local level, they can also help with national security! See how EHR can help during natural disasters, help to fix medical mistakes, and give out public notification of disease outbreaks in Advantages of Electronic Health Records.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Becoming a Patient Advocate for Yourself

The STAT blog recently sat down with Genevieve T of to talk about patient advocacy and how you can advocate for you own best care. She shares with us 9 great strategies to keep in mind and how you can stay on top of your own healthcare.
  1. Don’t Freak Out. Many times doctors order tests to rule out possibilities. Just because your doctor ordered a test that may indicate disease does not mean you have it. Wait until the results are in and you have discussed your options with your doctor.
  1. Seek out reliable, credible information. If you choose to research your symptoms or diagnosis online, make sure it is from a credible source. There are many websites online claiming expert knowledge on medical information. Scrutinize where each site gets its information from. Credible resources include:
Database of medical research documents: PubMed
Other websites that may offer credible information are national foundations of specific diseases. For instance, the American Diabetes Association provides excellent information on Diabetes prevention, diagnosis, management and care.
  1. Make sure you and your doctor are on the same page. Do you have a productive, open line of communication with your doctor? Are you able to ask your doctor questions? Do you both have the same goals for your health and treatments? If you find 
    yourself answering no to any of these questions, you may want to bring up your concerns with your doctor in order to open up a new line of communication.
  1. Not all doctor-patient relationships are compatible, and that’s okay to admit. Do not limit yourself to one doctor alone. It may be possible that there is another doctor you would be more compatible with. You shouldn’t continue seeing a doctor you are not satisfied with merely out of guilt. If you switch doctors you shouldn’t feel like you are “cheating” on your old doctor.
  1. Doctors are human beings too. Doctors are constantly learning on a daily basis, even if they’ve been practicing medicine for over twenty years. And even the best doctors sometimes make mistakes. They work extremely long hours and see many patients each week. Bottom line: The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you continue to feel ill, follow up with your doctor until your questions and concerns are answered and resolved.
  1. Keep track of your health. Often times we have address books to keep track of important addresses, calendars to keep track of business meetings, family events, and soccer games, diaries or journals describing daily happenings, and To-Do lists to remind ourselves of the next thing to take care of. What if you kept track of your body the same way you do the rest of your life? While EHRs can certainly help you do this, it is important to listen to your body, notice changes, and write down symptoms when they occur so that when you talk with your doctor next visit you will remember what happened and when. Your doctor can only be as good as the information you provide him or her.
  1. Know that your doctor is not a magician. Make sure you take care of yourself and follow treatment plans. Your doctor cannot help you if you cannot help yourself. There is no magic wand your doctor can wave over you next visit to resolve all the damage you’ve caused to your body when you did not follow treatments prescribed. And there is no magic pill you can take to fix yourself overnight. Good health is a life long job and you must take responsibility do to your part to keep that job going for as long as you can.
  1. Look into having a support system. Many times support groups online can be an invaluable way to relieve stress by venting to those who most understand your situation, while also swapping ideas and information with fellow patients. Also, discuss your situation with your friends, family, doctor, and pharmacy. Are there times in which you will need rides to medical procedures? Do your friends and family know what needs to be done if your health problem should present an emergency situation? Do you need a medic alert bracelet in case you were to have a health emergency around strangers? Do you have a number on hand you can call if you have questions about your prescriptions? Even if you don’t think you have a serious health problem, do you know where the closest hospital is?
  1. What is your goal next visit? Do you know what you hope to accomplish at your next doctor’s visit? Is it a simple annual physical? Is this a follow up visit to a recent emergency health event? Do you have new information to give your doctor regarding family health history? Are you trying to find an explanation for a recent cough or pain? Is the medication you’re taking not working to meet your needs? Do you have questions or concerns? What is on your mind exactly? Make sure you are very clear about this before you go to your next doctor’s visit. If possible jot down any questions, concerns, or new information you may have and take that with you to your appointment.

Breaking the Nostaliga Habit

Imagine that you’re in an exam room waiting for your doctor. The year is 1961. What do you suppose happens when that doctor walks thorough that door, clipboard and file in hand?

Your answer is probably going to depend largely on your age. If you’ve managed to accumulate enough years on this planet, it’s possible that you remember being in a doctor’s office in 1961. Maybe you can even think of a specific doctor, though maybe the specifics of any one particular visit are a bit hazy over time. You might think fondly on a particular time when things, including doctors’ visits, seemed to move at a more reasonable pace. If you
’re in an age bracket that doesn’t remember a time without video games, however, your ideas about what doctors were like in 1961 are probably just a bit different. The doctor is just the conduit through which you can access the tests that will give you the results and expectant diagnosis. A doctor from a previous generation simply isn’t going to have as much knowledge access as a current one. If you fall into that generation between these two ends of the age spectrum, in that age bracket we call the Baby Boomers, you probably picture that 1961 doctor as a kindly old man in a crisp white lab coat. This is the sort of doctor who would understand and care about you personally. You imagine that the service and attention you would have gotten from the doctor would have been better.

The problem with all of these different visions of 1961 health care is that they don’t necessarily represent an "accurate" version of reality. Nor can we reasonably expect them to. Even those who remember walking into a doctor’s office in 1961 can’t reasonably be expected to legitimately remember that experience fifty years later. Doctors were't necessarily any more personal, or more invested in their patient healthcare in the 60s or really in any previous decade.

So when people are concerned that technology, like Electronic Health Records (EHR), is just going to get in the way of their care, that idea isn’t based on a real, honest assessment of past medical practices. Not to mention that all of it is going to be relative to personal experience. EHR are not going to make the doctor less interested in listening to patients and more concerned about the electronic data pad that gets brought around to each appointment. We often get anxious about technology getting in the way of one-on-one face-to-face interactions because we see it in our daily lives; or at least or perception of our daily lives. We catch up with old friends on Facebook rather than meet for coffee. We don’t stand around the water cooler at the office to discuss the previous night’s must-watch TV; we send forwarded interdepartmental emails instead. If we’re going to really understand the future of healthcare, we are going to have to let go of the idea that technology automatically distances us from each other as people.

That isn’t to say that technology is going to magically make things better either, but there are a lot of possibilities with EHR and the incorporation of technology tools into doctor-patient interactions. Let’s think about a new scenario, one where technology can enhance your healthcare experience.

Your doctor walks into the room were you’ve been waiting for a few minutes and greets you with a smile. The doctor then checks the iPad that she’s brought with her and says that it appears you’re here about a chesty cough that hasn’t gone away and asks you about other symptoms while listening to your lungs as you breathe in and out. She decides she wants an x-ray to rule out bronchitis, taps the screen on the iPad a few times and tells you that they are expecting you in radiology.

After you return from your x-ray you are shuffled into the waiting room again before your doctor joins you to go over your results. She brings up your x-ray on the iPad and says that according to the radiologist’s note everything looks okay, but you do need an antibiotic. She punches in a prescription, but frowns briefly and asks you about a drug allergy. Your record had prompted her to select a different prescription and wanted to confirm that you were indeed allergic as your records indicated. She prescribes you a new drug that you are unfamiliar with. She brings up a picture of the pills and use directions on the iPad and goes over your prescription with you.

She pulls out a stylus and signs the prescription electronically and lets you know that the pharmacy is completing your antibiotic order and that they assistant at the front desk is expecting you to schedule a follow-up visit in two weeks.

Nostalgia is often described as a wish for the past, a past that is more often than not idealized in our minds. In a way, nostalgia is a desire of a past that never really was. It’s a comforting feeling, particularly when we feel that our current frustrations are close to overwhelming. Nostalgia actually used to be classified as a disease, one that could send the new city dwellers of the industrial revolution back to family homes in the country to recuperate. We no longer thing of nostalgia as a disease to cure, but it is certainly something that we must overcome if we are going to greet the future of EHR head-on with a belief that we can ask for better healthcare. If we don’t, we just might have to face a reality where are worst fears are confirmed because we allowed things to happen just as we feared they would.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Doc Digs Electronic Health Records

Doc Digs Electronic Health Records (2:20)
A doctor discusses the benefits of EHRs from a physician perspective, speaking to the pros for everyone involved.

Advantages of Computer-Based Medical Records

Still uncertain about the benefits of EHR? The good people at informatics-review have put together a brief but important list of the Advantages of Computer-Based Medical Records.