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Make patients custodians of their medical records

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Kumar Yogesh, M.D., an independent primary-care physician in Dresden, Tenn., writes in Medical Economics:

“During the good old days…. the role of primary-care physician (PCP) was a respected position. I’m guessing that during that time, we, the physicians, assumed the role of custodians of patients’ medical records.

“In today’s world of electronic medical record systems, we all have realized that tremendous unnecessary data is being generated to satisfy regulatory agencies and billing systems. Patients have taken it on themselves to see multiple physicians while marginalizing the concept of  the PCP. In such an environment, being custodian of these records is becoming increasingly cumbersome, useless and very expensive.

“I would like to propose a novel idea to our fellow physicians. …Tremendous amounts of time, energy and money can be saved and redundancies eliminated, resulting in much less stress for our staff and much less destruction with performance and duties of physicians. Let all physicians unite and demand to relinquish control of medical records and transfer this responsibility to the patient.”

“No consulting office, emergency room or hospital will have to call us anymore, since they can obtain all this information from the patient. When we order our tests such as CT scan, MRI, or if we prescribe any medications, the controlling authorities can look into the patient record for their approval process. No need to bother us anymore for any prior authorization and let us be doctors focused with patient care. I can imagine my office being a lean, mean machine with 100% dedication toward patient care. Would this not be a dream?”

To read all of Dr. Yogesh’s essay, please hit this link.


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