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EMRs Can Save You From Constantly Repeating Your Medical History

Posted on October 7, 2014 by Kelly Kuru

You’d be hard pressed to find a high school or university student that hasn’t spent countless hours preparing for their mid-term or final exam using a finely honed system of rote memorization through repetition. Fast forward 15 years and as a mother of a busy toddler, I find myself constantly repeating the same three words that I hope will one day sink in … “No!” … “Please!” … “Careful!” The usual outcome with this approach is that it’s in one ear and out the other.

In previous years, I used to experience the same need for repetition of my medical history when faced with a doctor’s appointment. And in some cases, it felt as though the onus for remembering quality information concerning my health was singularly on me. This responsibility is well and good when I’m an active and able patient, but what happens if I am unable to advocate for myself?

On a recent visit to my family doctor, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with a re-cap of my recent lab results, playback of my visit to the emergency department and a check-up on how I was doing with my prescribed medications, all thanks to a few easy clicks my doctor made using my electronic medical record. Sure, I was able to contribute anecdotal details and the reason for my visit, but a solid foundation of medical facts and history were already present and waiting to be put to good use. No repetition needed! Between you and me, I’m humbled to admit that I was reminded of encounters and results that I hadn’t recalled myself.

Canada’s health care stakeholders, including federal and provincial governments, providers and industry have put a lot of time and effort into connecting our vast health ecosystem. In 2013, EMRs were used by 64% of primary care physicians1 to deliver better informed care, and this is just one slice of the pie. And as our country’s digital health capabilities continue to evolve, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that you’ve had a similar story or experience to mine. Repeating success? Now that’s something that I believe in.

12013 National Physician Survey

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Kelly Kuru SNOMED IntlKelly Kuru is responsible for engaging and supporting SNOMED International's global stakeholders and Community of Practice through strategic messaging that delivers value.  Kelly is responsible for the organization's global communication and marketing efforts in support of SNOMED CT's, the world's most comprehensive clinical terminology, and its related products and supporting services and resources.

Prior to joining SNOMED International, Kelly held a number of strategy and engagement roles with Canada Health Infoway, an organization established to support the vision of healthier Canadians through innovative digital health solutions, as well as developing her business and communications skills at the University Health Network in Toronto.

Kelly holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Victoria and is a participating member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

RT @MediaplanetCA: You know your height, weight, and current medications. But do you know the results of your last lab test? @Infoway encou…

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