Dear EMR: Greetings from Paris, Wish You Were Here

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , April 26, 2011

As soon as I got home, I went to my doctor's office. Standing at the front desk (telling the story of my adventure, of course) I mentioned that I had received prescriptions for medication but wasn't 100% sure what they were. The nurse practically leapt over the counter to get at the sheet of paper listing the medications I'd received. She spoke enough French to interpret it and asked me the questions that the nurses in France didn't—about allergies, medical conditions that might cause an adverse effect, and the severity of my pain. (Not sufficient, by that time, to warrant the strong painkillers I was taking, she said.)

A while back I wrote a column about the power of story-telling as it relates to educating the public about electronic medical records and data-sharing among healthcare organizations.

Perhaps my own story makes me sound like a demanding, spoiled American who expects Cadillac medical care. And maybe I am. But even though I write about healthcare technology for a living, having a personal experience of what healthcare is like without it helped me to better understand its importance.

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2 comments on "Dear EMR: Greetings from Paris, Wish You Were Here"

Michael (4/29/2011 at 7:08 PM)
Great article that once again illustrates the importance of carrying medical information. This situation ultimately could have been a lot worse - imagine you were involved in a more serious medical event such as a heart attack or stroke and were unconscious or unable to relay any medical information to emergency personnel while traveling in France. What if you are taking a medication like Coumadin or have a latex allergy ? - this is vital information that could dramatically affect your emergency treatment and medical outcome. Information your care providers need to know. We developed a product called miCARD ( that combines a medical information (wallet) card and online Personal Health Record. This way when you travel anywhere in the world medical personnel(first responders) will have a complete summary of your critical medical information via the miCARD wallet card plus any addtl medical information you may have stored (EKG, Labs, Physician notes, etc) in your online Personal Health Record. The miCARD PHR is accessible 24/7 worldwide and all personal medical information is stored securely online. This process was developed by my brother Dr. James Kelley, an Emergency Physician with over 15 years of clinical experience. It was designed to help prepare individuals for a medical emergency and provide medical personnel the vital information they need to make informed, timely decisions that lead to better care. Just wanted to share...please check out our solution and let me know your thoughts. Thank you again for your thought provoking article. Best Regards, Michael Kelley Co-Founder

Andrew (4/28/2011 at 5:45 PM)
It's very important that electronic medical records be implemented in more and more places. If anyone is interested, I found a great site called <a href="">InformationManagementCompare/EMR Solutions</a>. They analyze amd compare companies who offer EMR services and solutions.




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