Potential of HealthIT -- Who is standing in the way
My primary care doc recently launched a patient portal with all my records, includng doctor's notes, medications upcoming appointments and -- in some cases, reports from specialists (those whose systems could talk to my doctor's EHR. ) I thought it would greatly simplify communication -- especially about simple health issues that come up or follow ups to referrals to specialists. Unfortunately, the messaging part of the portal doesn't function like any common email . Each message stands alone, so you have to repeat all the information in subsequent messages, rather than continue a string like standard gmail or exchange. When I asked my doc why it was set up like that, she replied that is was because too many patients want to become her pen pal.
Healthcare IT has incrediable potential for revolutionizing patient care. But the providers still have a long way to go in understanding how to take advantage of it.