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Medical Records Question

Medical Records Question

Old Jul 2nd 2012, 6:02 pm
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Default Medical Records Question

Hi

We are going back to the UK for a few weeks, and obviously we are no longer registered with the NHS.

We have copies of our medical records from the NHS central repository, and want to make sure that if they are required in an emergency someone can get hold of them.

How do you do that here ?

Is there any sort of central system ? How would a foreign doctor get hold of them ?

Thanks
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Never even thought about it I'm afraid.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Not as far as I know. The doctors don't liaise with each other either. My PCP doesn't know what other doctors I have seen, what meds, tests or procedures I have had.

I am registered with a large group of doctors. These include cardiologists, gastrologists, etc...none of them know who I have seen within their own practise. Now that they have just been taken over by a national company...they are putting patients' records on a central computer within the practise.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

OK - thanks.

I've just phoned our doctor and they confirm this to be the case.

They will scan the records and attach them to their records, but it looks like it will only be held with one surgery.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 6:16 pm
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As a side issue, this is a real plus for researchers working in the UK. There is no way of pulling together the same kind of statistical data about patients in the US.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
As a side issue, this is a real plus for researchers working in the UK. There is no way of pulling together the same kind of statistical data about patients in the US.
Actually, there is. With the health information exchanges and RHIOs, your data can be used locally and nationally for statistical analysis and disease monitoring. It is growing very quickly.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Duncan Roberts View Post
Actually, there is. With the health information exchanges and RHIOs, your data can be used locally and nationally for statistical analysis and disease monitoring. It is growing very quickly.
Of course I only know what my husband has told me from his experience and that of colleagues. I think he means more specific data than disease monitoring.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Actually, there is. With the health information exchanges and RHIOs, your data can be used locally and nationally for statistical analysis and disease monitoring. It is growing very quickly
All fine and dandy for the much less than 1% of people involved in medical research. But the purpose of a health system is to provide health care for the citizens of the country (unless you are GSK or a US doctor, in which case it appears they have other motives involving lining each others pockets....)

If I were knocked over in the street tomorrow, and taken to the nearest ER room, how would the doctors there know any of my medical history ? Across Europe, there is exchange of information for emergency purposes - the UK has been behind for many years, but has caught up thanks to increased investment in the NHS in the last few years.

But here, it seems that every doctor, hospital, clinic, etc is totally in-the-dark and operates as if they were a corner-shop.

It's not a health care system - it's a national disgrace.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Originally Posted by dlake02 View Post
But here, it seems that every doctor, hospital, clinic, etc is totally in-the-dark and operates as if they were a corner-shop.
This is yet another reason why the US healthcare system is so inefficient. Go to a specialist and they may well have no access to your medical history, so they end up ordering a bunch of tests that may or may not be needed etc. Just plain poor medicine. Of course, some medical groups have moved to digital records and Kaiser has had this for a while. But in general, it's a mess.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

This is yet another reason why the US healthcare system is so inefficient.
My wife is scared stiff to go and see a doctor here. She knows (as do I) that all they'll care about given that we have full insurance is finding as much possible wrong with you in order to maximise their income.

It's no different from the garage ripping you off by suddenly "discovering" that you need 4 new tyres and an brake pads all round....

But this IS different - it's your fellow citizens as human beings and their health and therefore should be above the nasty motives of lining your pockets.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Originally Posted by dlake02 View Post
My wife is scared stiff to go and see a doctor here. She knows (as do I) that all they'll care about given that we have full insurance is finding as much possible wrong with you in order to maximise their income.
I'm like that too.

Also I've never heard of so many medical blunders in my life.

Hoping I can hang on till we get back to sanity.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
This is yet another reason why the US healthcare system is so inefficient. Go to a specialist and they may well have no access to your medical history, so they end up ordering a bunch of tests that may or may not be needed etc. Just plain poor medicine. Of course, some medical groups have moved to digital records and Kaiser has had this for a while. But in general, it's a mess.
Its pretty much the same way in Canada. Hospitals have access to some medical records within their system of treatment you have had while in their system, but if i show up in the ER they will have no access to my medical history for any care received at my GP or by a specialist or a walk in clinic.

Its not unique to the US.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Its not unique to the US.
Oh no, I agree 100% that it's not unique to the US. The UK is light-years behind in terms of electronic records, but what is quite amazing here is the lack of any form of central body. At least in the UK, it was done with photocopiers and large vaults with paper-records held at regional centres and has been since the inception of the NHS. Computerising that is virtually complete, but it takes time and money.

Even the immunisation card - we have the standard California card for our son and have transferred his UK record to it. I'd (wrongly) assumed that as it was a standard card, that would be our record and there would be a central one held by the State health system.

Nope - they just issue the card. Pure paper exercise.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
Its pretty much the same way in Canada. Hospitals have access to some medical records within their system of treatment you have had while in their system, but if i show up in the ER they will have no access to my medical history for any care received at my GP or by a specialist or a walk in clinic.

Its not unique to the US.
As far as I am aware in Ontario your OHIP card contains all your medical records. When you go to a hospital or doctor your OHIP card is swiped...thus bringing up all the info.
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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Medical Records Question

Originally Posted by dlake02 View Post
Oh no, I agree 100% that it's not unique to the US. The UK is light-years behind in terms of electronic records, but what is quite amazing here is the lack of any form of central body.
It shouldn't amaze you. Such a body - especially one run by a government entity - would be considered akin to socialism and a precursor of "death panels".

There's some seriously blinkered thinking when it comes to healthcare in this country.
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