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Imagine that the treatment you received in a Boston ER for a concussion—the one you sustained while playing pickup basketball—could be visible to the urgent care physician you saw weeks later while away on business, the one you had to see because you were experiencing blurred vision and headaches? And maybe a few months later, after you’ve moved to the west coast for work, and you’re still having bad headaches, you seek out a new primary care doctor. What if she could easily pull your records from any of these previous care settings and get a more complete picture of your health? She’d be able to connect the dots from concussion to blurred vision to debilitating headache, resulting in more informed care decisions and better health for you.
Americans are mobile people. And because we’re mobile, it can be challenging for clinicians to get a holistic view of our care histories, especially if we’ve changed jobs and insurance plans or moved from one state to another or visited the ER while on a business trip. Sometimes the complicating factor has nothing to do with mobility, but with knowledge. According to this survey, 63% of Americans have no idea where their health data is stored. Getting that complete picture is made even more complicated by the very nature of U.S. healthcare. It’s fragmented. A study of Medicare beneficiaries found that patients saw a median of seven different healthcare providers across four different practices in a two-year period. Another study found that 1 in 10 emergency department patients had been seen at a different hospital within the past 12 months alone.
And while care is more fragmented, it’s also more complex, especially for an aging American population that’s experiencing more chronic conditions than ever before. At critical points of care, providers need to quickly see what kind of treatment patients have received. And where. This isn’t a nice to have. Sometimes it can truly be a matter of life and death.
The good news: Over the last year, as revealed in our recent impact report on clinical interoperability, thousands of healthcare organizations have been helping providers pull patient records from across the country at those critical points of care. How? By using Surescripts Record Locator & Exchange. So in the spirit of celebration, we’ve written up a little quiz that includes a provider quote, a few stats and some scenarios where the exchange of clinical information may have occurred – and profoundly impacted patient care. Can you guess whether the following “stories from the field” are true or false?
Take a look at the 2018 Impact Report: Clinical Interoperability to check your guesses and learn more.