Early last month, we took a road trip to New York to help my younger sister move her life and belongings to Baltimore. Like any other family road trip, it was filled with me requesting to listen to the same few songs over and over again, Andrew somehow being able to tune my mostly off-key voice out enough to do the driving part, too much caffeine across the board, and a trip to urgent care.
The morning of the big move, we picked up the U-Haul, loaded it up, and Andrew took off to where we planned to stop for the night. When we arrived, he looked pale and showed us his arm that was clearly not right. He couldn't think of bumping it on anything to cause the swelling, and it wasn't bruised, so the next thing that popped into my mind was that it was an infection and needed to be treated.
With a whopping 19 minutes before they closed for the night, we managed to get into an urgent care center a few minutes away, and I cracked jokes with the office staff, hoping they'll like us, despite us cramping their Saturday night style.
While we were waiting, we were asked to complete the standard new patient forms. While Andrew completed them, I was able to fax pieces of his medical history, as well as his medications, and provide the front desk staff with the necessary pieces of information they'd need to treat him, directly from CareSync.
I added the "appointment" into Visit Manager, and started noting the symptoms, when he noticed them, how he was feeling, what meds he had taken to be able to help provide the physician with the important information to help diagnose his wonky elbow.
The doc came in and was quickly able to give us a diagnosis. I added the instructions for monitoring the infection into Visit Manager, and snapped a photo of the prescription, so Andrew and I both had instant access to them. While he thought it was obnoxious at the time, I was snapping pictures of the elbow in various states, and was able to upload them directly into our
Saturday night out visit's album.
While I joke about his infected elbow* (which is all better now), it was actually quite interesting to see the respect that the provider and his office staff paid us when they realized that we were not only engaged in care, but actually empowered with data, documentation of symptoms, medical history, allergies, and other pieces that all came into play during our quick visit.
Four weeks later, we have pulled the information collected and shared from that appointment no fewer than 3 or 4 times. We've input the medical records from our visit. We shared them with his primary care physician. We had another trip to a local provider when the first medication didn't seem to be cutting it, and I noticed this morning that Andrew has gone back in to update his meds as "no longer taken" and marked the health condition as inactive.
Having complete, accurate health information in the palm of your hand, no matter where you are, is valuable even to the most healthy people out there. You never know when you're going to get an infected elbow in rural New York state.
* I was somewhat compassionate and not really joking as much as it seems to come off here.