Seniors Benefit from a Reformed System
Seniors, especially those with Medicare, will benefit from an improved system that will not change access to their providers of choice. You will have better patient service, better quality, and better coordination of your care.
More specifically, new health information technology available under a reformed system will bring the use of medical information up-to-speed with your clinician's ability to diagnosis and treat you. For example, you will not have to fill out your information by hand every time you see your doctor or someone you are referred to. You will be able to make an appointment over the Internet or by phone. Your doctor will be able to confirm the visit with you and even remind you that the visit is scheduled. Any laboratory test or X-rays will be available to you, your doctor or any clinicians you approve to help manage your care 24/7.
Your doctor and her staff will have more time to spend with you because they have less paperwork to fill out by hand. Your doctor will be able to ensure you got your flu shot after a review of your electronic record that shows that your lung doctor gave it to you three weeks ago. Your laboratory tests and X-ray results ordered by the lung doctor are available for your doctor to review. She, therefore, does not need to repeat these tests, saving you valuable time and the health system money. Your prescriptions are ordered by computer and all you have to do is drive by the pharmacy to pick them up on your way home. By the way, the pharmaceutical ordering system is safer because the pharmacist did not have to decipher your doctor's handwriting.
As a primary care doctor, your physician is paid a little bit more for coordinating your care and is able to spend more time with you trying to resolve that nagging backache on this visit instead of making a second appointment. More time saved. She also has access to new scientific breakthroughs, which helps her better manage your lung problem thanks to the new medical effectiveness research the administration and Congress approved. In addition, your costs are lower because you are no longer paying as much for prescription drugs.
Same physician, better service, improved care coordination, enhanced safety and quality, and lower prescription drug costs. Seniors will benefit.
August 11, 2009; 5:23 AM ET
Electronic medical records
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