Patients put their trust in us as healthcare providers or administrators. Sometimes healthcare centers let them down—either directly or indirectly. In the case of Amy, the young child who passed away (see the example below), an opportunity was missed to implement a program that would allow hospitals to communicate and share medical records.

What are your thoughts on implementing a program within the United States that would allow hospitals to share information from hospital to hospital, giving hospitals up-to-date information on patients? Is it a good idea? Why, or why not? 

 

Baker, J. J., Baker, R. W., & Dworkin, N. R. (2018). Health care finance: Basic tools for nonfinancial managers (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning

Consider the following example: Amy is a 10-year-old girl who has a ventriculoatrial (VA) shunt to help drain cerebrospinal fluid. In pediatric patients, the shunts will often fail within a short amount of time (Hydrocephalus Association, 2017). Amy experienced complications following a recent shunt revision. Her local community hospital performed computed tomography (CT) scan to evaluate the state of her condition. She transferred to a larger, level one trauma center because she could not receive the required care at the smaller facility. She arrived at the receiving hospital in shock. The receiving physician was under the impression that the CT scan was unchanged/unremarkable and not a direct contributing factor to the episode of shock. Because of that assumption, the receiving physician did not look at the computer disk (CD) containing a copy of her recent CT scan just hours prior to her arrival (sent with the patient). Since the second-most-common complication of shunt systems is infection, the physician ordered the antibiotic shock therapy protocol (Hydrocephalus Association, 2017). After just a few hours, the patient died due to a failed revision surgery. 

Communication And Shared Medical Records