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Data Differences: Better Records, Better Care

Author: Mike Knight / Source: Multiple Sclerosis News Today

mike knight

“I’m sorry, these files take forever to copy,” the woman at the registration desk says, breaking the silence that had settled between us while she uploaded MRI scans from the CD I gave her moments earlier.

“I know it can be a pain to cart these things all over the place.”

It’s a Monday morning, and I’m at a hand and shoulder specialist’s office. The scans are of my right arm, gone lame from a rotator cuff injury, nerve compression and who knows what.

“No problem,” I say. “I’ve learned how important it is to get my records from one provider to another. It just takes a lot of coordination, especially when you see a lot of doctors.”

“Right,” she says emphatically. “Wouldn’t it be great if all of your records were in one place, so you didn’t have to do this to bring your records for every single provider?”

“Yeah,” I agree, “that would be great.”

If only.

It’s been awhile since I was actively running my records from office to office and establishing their existence and content with all of the members of my healthcare team.

Before my diagnosis in 2013, I was new to the world of chronic pain and illness, and back then I didn’t fully appreciate how many times an “i” needed to be dotted, how many times a “t” needed to be crossed, or how many cracks there were into which my records would invariably fall.

I’d like to think I’m smarter than that now. Before my neurologist left his practice unexpectedly, I felt confident that everyone who needed to be in the know was. But his sudden departure upset that cart, as did bringing the hand and shoulder specialist aboard.

MS is a learning opportunity nonpareil. My neurologist’s exit led to me rebuild my medical team, which has led me to reassess how I keep and share my medical records. And now, with the Equifax breach heavy in the air, it’s how to keep those records both accessible and secure.

So far, I’ve learned…

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