Health-Information Technology and the Use of Computerized Records in Medicine

Computerized records in medicineLucy Sawyer is a 65-year-old diabetic with a history of hypertension.

She is joining a new primary care practice, and her physician has taught her to navigate through the patient portal feature of the hospital’s recently implemented electronic medical system.

Ms. Sawyer uses the portal to view lab results, learn about her medical problems, schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, follow postprocedure protocols, communicate with her physician, and track her blood-sugar fluctuations.

Her use of the patient portal saves the physician time when taking a patient history, ordering prescriptions, and answering questions.

Nevertheless, the electronic system is not without hitches. Ms. Sawyer’s CT results from an emergency room visit (which indicate an abdominal aortic aneurism) were not rapidly transferred to her new hospital, and she becomes concerned that some sensitive information in her health record might be available to health care professionals other than her PCP.