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!