I didn’t know how much I would learn about technologies along my way to recovery from a heart attack. The attack was unexpected, but I have now recovered. While I’m a little overweight, I had no previous issues with high blood pressure or cholesterol, but it happened anyway! Even the staff in the emergency room thought it would be something else until the test results came back.
Some personal advice: if you’re over 50, get a full cardiac workup! If you think you may be having an attack, assume you are and act immediately. In general my health was okay, but it happened nonetheless. Fortunately, my doctors discovered and resolved the problem quickly with the placement of two stents, and I’m now doing well. I was very lucky!
Mobility: When I’m not here, I’m here!
My primary care physician also uses the system to remotely access my data, primarily from workstations rather than an iPad and iPhone. (On my recent visit, she mentioned that she needed to take her device back to the IT guy at the hospital to get it working again.)
When I started researching the technology, what I discovered was that my local hospital had implemented an electronic healthcare records (EHCR) system, by which physicians can follow a patient’s progress, ensure that proper tests are taken based on protocols for symptoms and/or possible diagnosis, and enter orders, prescriptions and so on (no more hieroglyphics for the pharmacy to interpret!). In addition, they can see test results—not just reports but images from CT scans, MRIs and so forth. How many hospital systems have been integrated so far, I’m not sure.
In my search for information I also found an IBM video about the use of new technologies in hospital records, Electronic Health Records for Evolving Healthcare, which presents a scenario somewhat similar to my experience. The main difference is that during my hospital visit the “Computers on Wheels” (COWs) were now bedside (on the wall) terminals, and the data had been extended to my physicians’ devices.
I have personally seen and experienced the benefits of electronic healthcare records: the improvements in making test results available and the value of physicians being able to enter patient orders remotely instead of nurses attempting to contact them, provide the results and request orders. I’m glad this system was in use when I was at the hospital, and I believe it aided my recovery in that ER. My nurses, cardiologist, electrophysiologist and primary care physician all had instant mobile access to my testing, medications and progress without having to pull a chart.
Mobility in the healthcare future
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