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How well does your doctor know your medical history?

As you are sitting in an examination room in a Providence County clinic waiting to be seen by a doctor, you likely assume that the reason for any delay in your receiving treatment is at least partly because the physician is reviewing your medical record. Yet have you ever wondered what information is contained in your records, and how far the doctors examining them go to get the information needed to deliver quality care?

Many may picture a medical record as being a large file stored in some central location that all healthcare providers have access to. Electronic medical record technology has helped that idea come closer to becoming a reality, yet providers still face roadblocks in sharing important patient data. Often the extent of electronic records is limited to within a single organization. Thus, despite today’s modern technologies, your personal medical record is likely actually a series of files stored by the various providers that have treated you in the past.

Hence the potential issue in doctors knowing all they need to about your medical history. The online publication Health Data Management recently shared study information that yielded some startling results, including:

  •          40 percent of participants saying their doctors were unaware of their recent surgeries.
  •          44 percent saying their doctors did not know of their recent hospitalizations or other healthcare visits.
  •          61 percent claiming their doctors did know what allergies they suffered from.

These results show why it is important that your doctor is thorough in his or her initial questioning. The answers he or she receives, combined with a more thorough review of your available records along with a simple phone call between offices may end up saving you from dangerous medication or treatment errors

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Providence, RI 02903

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