So I get a page from my answering service about a patient of mine who I saw late this afternoon. Turns out the treatment I gave her isn’t taking and she’s in excruciating pain. Logged into my EMR from home, pulled open her chart, reviewed the radiology image and the radiologist’s over-read. Nothing. No reason she should be feeling the way she is now.
After a brief discussion it’s obvious there’s nothing I can do over the phone so I ask her which emergency room she’s closest to. It’s a hospital outside of our system but I tell her to go there as she can barely walk.
Call the ER and let them know she’s coming and ask them if they’d like my note from this afternoon. Of course they would. A couple of clicks later I’ve “printed” it to a secure PDF file and zipped it into an e-mail and off it goes.
Shows the importance of electronic access to information and also why we need a National Health Information Network (NHIN) so I wouldn’t have to take even these few steps.