Receiving healthcare services from multiple organizations has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to note that sometimes patients are forced by circumstances to do this. This happens when the patient has a medical emergency and does not have the time to access their primary healthcare facility choice. They would usually get admitted and be attended to so as to be stabilized until they are transferred to their doctors. Also, some patients seek assistance from multiple facilities run by different organizations because of running various tests not provided by their primary healthcare providers. These organizations have different algorithms for keeping and availing Personal Health Records (PHRs) retrievable electronically (Braunstein, 2014). This leads to different and often confusing patient portals which may make a patient get a wrong perspective of their health records and could possibly lead to a misdiagnosis elsewhere. This is so because most organizations dont share the PHRs, and so every time a patient seeks medical attention from a different facility owned by a different organization, they would be required to narrate their medical history, and that is where everything can easily get flawed for such an item of information requires utmost precision and accuracy.
The PHRs usually kept by the organization in their database follows a strict filing system that makes it retrievable whenever it is needed for the patients life always depends on it. As such, only two parties have access to such information, that is, the patient themselves through their portals and their respective doctors. The same portal is always encrypted. This is why seeking medical assistance from multiple healthcare organizations tends to create problems because the PHRs themselves don't always contain full information, and the information they contain is not always accessible to all.
I find such a system of keeping, and retrieving patient PHRs convenient and secure. Unauthorized personnel have no access to a patients PHRs which are most often sensitive. Unlike in the old days where they would be kept in physical files prone to lose in case of disasters like fires; these PHRs are always backed up by the hospital making them accessible almost always whenever they are needed. It is a convenient process because most of that time before a doctor runs a full diagnosis on the patient each time they visit the facility, the doctor only has to run their names against the organization's database so as to retrieve information that will be used to countercheck diagnosis results and processes. However, I would rather suggest that all information is included in the PHRs including the various lab results and tests.
A major challenge to patients who cannot access to all PHRs is that they get a hard time figuring out the subsequent course of action in treating their disease or managing their conditions. With this scarce knowledge, it is impossible to make important decisions, some of which are budgetary. Therefore, they might have to physically visit their facility so as to get complete information. This can be costly financially and time-wise (Davies, 2012.)
Braunstein, M. (5 August 2014). Free The Health Data: Grahame Grieve On FHIR. Information Week. Retrieved from https://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/electronic-health-records/free-the-health-data-grahame-grieve-on-fhir
Davies, P. (30 July 2012). Should patients be able to control their own record? Retrieved 24 January 2018 from http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4905
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