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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 17, 2010 / 9 Tishrei, 5771

Digital Medical Records Sensible Idea

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Say what you will about this year's round of health reform legislation — and there's plenty of opinion to go around — one idea nestled in much of the talk makes, I believe, a colossal amount of sense: digitizing a person's medical records and making that information available to the patient and other health providers.

That's what is happening for patients of PartnerMD, a specialized practice headquartered in Richmond, Va., with a branch in McLean. "Members," as the firm calls its clients, are assigned a physician who directs their care. The patient load and other burdens on the group's doctors are less than in conventional practices, the firm claims, and thus the level of service and attention is different, and presumably better, than what you'd find at a more regular practice.

One other difference: after the initial round of pre-first visit forms, there was very little in the way of paper to be seen at the PartnerMD office. The practice is digitized in many ways, and chief financial officer Stephen T. Nardo said that's intentional. Now, that includes the use of Apple, Inc.'s iPad device for physicians and nurses, while patients can elect to walk away from their exams with a USB flash drive containing their medical results.

"Ever since we've been in business, since 2003, we've been an all-electronic health records business — it's been easy for us to have the information available for our doctors to give to the patients and hospitals when they need it," Mr. Nardo said in a Sept. 10 telephone interview from Richmond. Until recently, patients would end up with a loose-leaf notebook of report printouts; now, it can be digital instead.

"Books usually sit on the shelf," at a patient's home or office, Mr. Nardo said, "and if they need to have the information in an emergency, it's still sitting on the shelf." By contrast, the USB drive can be "carried with them in case of an emergency," where personnel can either access the Portable Document File (PDF) formatted documents, or download the data in medical industry-standard Continuity of Care Document (CCD) or Continuity of Care Record (CCR) formats. The latter, Mr. Nardo asserted, can be critical in an emergency situation, particularly where the patient is unable to respond to questions.

There are, of course, security concerns that fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, and Mr. Nardo said PartnerMD patients are asked to sign a release acknowledging the fact that the data on the USB drives is not secure if the drive were to be lost. (There is a practical reason for that: if a patient was unconscious, they couldn't give a nurse a password to access the data.)

But this is a very good, and very admirable start. Windows users get a nice "front end" program on the flash drive that organizes the documents into a menu-based retrieval system. Mac users, for the moment, would need to open the file folder containing the PDF files, which, though slightly inelegant, isn't a major burden for most Mac users.

The practice is also considering the establishment of a patient portal (something my wife's doctors, a women's only practice, already have) where you can log in and get the needed data. Such portals can also be used to arrange consultations and get other assistance.

The PartnerMD system, though "basic" in its use of PDF files, is, I believe, a tremendous advance over the wall-sized filing systems of paper which dominate so many medical offices. It can only be hoped that a wide range of medical practices will adopt similar, and perhaps even more advanced, means of keeping patient information available and portable, something which can only benefit people on the go. More information about this practice can be found at www.partnermd.com.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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