Tuesday, January 19, 2010

robs v. Hippa

As my first doctor's appointment with the local endo looms in the near future, I have taken on the daunting task of trying to get my medical records sent to him. I had originally asked for my records back when I was leaving, and trying to be helpful, the woman told me not to worry about it, sign a Hippa now, then just call and let them know where and to who they needed to be released to and they would take care of the rest.

Helpful people should be shot some days.

Needless to say, that stupid, time consuming little piece of paper has gotten lost in the ether, and I'm now scrambling around to print up some from the internet and get them up to Pittsburgh, and processed, in enough time for them to sit with my Bible thick file folder and a fax machine to get it to my new doctor. Who will, inevitably not actually read them, until I throw down with the 20 questions, and he realizes I'm not actually just there for a check-up, and do in fact have things that need done.

This is my healthcare reform plan. Or at least part of it. Its called, a universal records system, where any doctor can type in your name, and whalla, there's your medical records. All of them. Patients should be able to access their own records as well. And for those crazy paranoid people who brought about the death of millions of trees via hippa forms, they can always opt out of the program, and deal with signing forms and transferring documents on their own damn time. Or hell, it could just be an opt in program for all I care. But it should be a mandatory system on all doctor computers. With 2-3 backup systems.

OMG, are you talking about non-competative medical software? How will the companies make money? Screw em. Does Congress have the power to regulate this? eh... off the top of my head I'm going to go with yes, under the commerce clause, and something with public welfare, and just for good measure, I'm gonna say that its a restriction on the movement of people not to have it.

On the extreme and shallow side, look at Heath Ledger... multi-doctors, multi-perscriptions, bad interactions... dead... If they'd have known or seen what he was on, possibly not dead. Maybe this should be patient responsibility to tell our doctors everything... yeah, I guess. But we are human, and that doesn't always occur to us. A thyroid example... who out there would link foot pain to being hypothyroid? I mean really. Plantar faciitis... thyroid meds must be off. I went through a year and a half of cortizone shots in my foot only to find out later it was probably my meds. Nor do I have the brain capacity to tell you all the details of my case. I know this makes me an awful cancer patient. And being in the process of moving, all of my records are packed in a box. They weren't supposed to be, but that's where the ended up.

Also, it would be great for my last doctor's plan to just get passed on to the new doctor, without me having to try to explain everything. This may even involve a phone call and interaction between doctors... but at least then I don't look like the know it all patient telling the doctor what he needs to do the first day (yes, I have a list, no I don't have a clue how to be that upfront with a doctor).

Why wouldn't you want your doctors to know everything that is wrong? All your medications? All of your history? What shady business are you hiding? For a lawyer that's really big on human rights, I find that the right to privacy tends to be excessive. I just have this, if you aren't doing anything bad, then what do you have to hide mentality.

Yes, there would need to be safety precautions set up. I'm not a software engineer, I'm just someone who sees a way of saving some cash and making life easier for we sick people. Even if it was just electronic versions of Hippa... with a digital signature pad that you could sign in the doctor's office or something to allow your record's release.

I imagine a world with easy access for doctors to my medical records. Not my family, not my job, not the insurance company. My doctors.

Sigh... too much to really ask for I guess.

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