Continuity of Care is when all health care providers can have access to medical records of any patient under their care. No matter where a patient seeks treatment, their history will be instantly available to whoever treats them. In essence, that means: NO patient is a ?stranger?.
In the age of computers and a worldwide internet, that shouldn?t seem much of a challenge; but unfortunately Continuity of Care is still an ideal, but not yet a reality. The reality is that ?hospitals and doctors are far from being completely ?linked?.
When a patient goes an emergency room or visits a new doctor, the only information the doctor might have is what the patient tells them, or what they can see or discover from the examination.
Why? Because most healthcare providers are affiliated with a specific hospital or health system; most records can be only be accessed by a practitioner affiliated with that particular hospital or healthcare provider. That means many laboratory and radiology examinations will have to be repeated.
A ?hospital has to re-diagnose and repeat treatment mean it?s time consuming, expensive, and also can be dangerous, since important facts in the health history can be missed or overlooked and new medication may interact badly with ones the patient may have taken.
Fortunately, the federal government has mandated that all health care facilities and providers make their records electronically available for sharing by 2014. But until then, here?s what a patient can do: Always have your health provider?s number with you, visible and accessible in case of emergency!
Specialty Care Services provides trained, professional Home Care treatment and Care Giving services. For seniors especially, a permanent or part-time Home Care Nurse/Caregiver with access to their patient?s complete medical record can contact their patient?s doctor within minutes.