Medical records and why aren’t they electronic

I’m sitting in a doctor’s waiting room right now and I’ve just experienced something that I’m sure we all have time and time again: as a new patient, you’re required to fill out pages and pages of questionnaires, all of which I’ve done before at other offices.

Now, understand this: I’m writing this post from my iPad while connected wirelessly to the Internet. Why, oh why, can’t I just have an electronic file of these documents (on a USB key? Downloadable from my Dropbox folder?) that I just hand to the nurse? The last 15 minutes worth of me filling out documents could have been completed in less than ten seconds.

The worst part is, the documents that I filled out are just photocopies or print-outs of the exact same documents from other offices. Some even show the remnants of White Out marks where a previous doctor’s name was removed and a new one added.

The question becomes: what’s the hang-up? Is it a format issue? Is it a price issue? I would have to imagine that keeping electronic records must be infinitely cheaper than paper ones. Hell, you could store of of them in the cloud, that way they can be accessible from anywhere.

I know Google is working on this and I hope they can make some headway. I’m tired of doing the exact same thing my parents, and even grandparents did. Ask me and this is one of the biggest drivers of outrageous medical costs and it needs to be fixed now!

Make something foolproof, they make a better fool

Here’s something to pass around to all of your friends… and tell them to pass it along to all of theirs. This is how ALL point-and-shoot digital cameras work:

In one motion, you press the shutter button halfway down and hold, which causes the camera to engage the autofocus. Once the camera has autofocused on the subject, usually indicated by a beep, you continue to press the button all the way down to take the picture.

While that seems simple and, to people who actually know how to use their digital cameras, foolproof, it’s amazing how many people screw this up. It seems that the majority of individuals that you hand your camera to and ask to take a picture of you with your friends/parents/girl or boyfriend/etc just point the camera and mash the button down. This cause the shutter to fire before the camera focuses, resulting in a blurry picture.

Interestingly enough, these are also the people who give you a look when you review the picture they just took in an attempt to check their work. Then you have to make the decision to ask them to take another picture or just say “thanks” and move on.

So please, for the sake of everyone on a vacation with their loved ones who would like to have everyone in the picture, halfway down to autofocus then all the way down to fire. One motion, no double tapping!

Rant over.