Not that long ago, there was a belief in the medical community: The primary care physician (PCP) is the hub of the healthcare delivery system.
There was a time when your PCP was the first point-of-contact when something was wrong with you. They would assess the situation, potentially run some tests, and often send you off with a diagnosis and a prescription. When the symptoms were outside of their scope, they would send you to a specialist.
In most cases, the specialist was aware that you were referred by your PCP and every test, diagnosis, and treatment that specialist made was sent back to your PCP. It was the job of the PCP and their staff to make sure that they knew everything that was going on with you medically. When the specialist had performed their duties, they sent you back to your PCP for follow-up. They truly were the "hub" of the healthcare delivery system; they provided coordination of care, with everything secured in your file, all in one place.
Missing: Coordinated Care
Over the last few decades, PCPs have found themselves bogged down with administrative paperwork and are no longer consistently kept in the loop regarding patient healthcare activities outside of their office.
While one of the primary goals of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) was to improve information exchange and communication in healthcare, many doctors lack access to important information.
Unfortunately there continue to be struggles, inconsistencies, and shortfalls.
Many hospital systems and clinics created their own EMRs, so usually they are only able to share information within their own system. More often than not, this information lacks portability for the patient to take it with them or to download for their own personal files. The PCPs may receive some of this information, but typically only access it during a patient's appointment.
Patient portals are great, in theory, but they are only as good as the information in them, and when it's fragmented across health systems, it's not particularly useful.
Where does this leave us? It leaves us without any true coordination of care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50% of adults have at least one chronic disease, and 1/4 of those individuals have significant limitations as a result. Coordinated care is more important than ever, even if you consider yourself to be a perfectly healthy individual.
What does this mean for you?
While the majority of us once counted on our doctors to coordinate our care, the nation is slowly realizing that we must take a much more proactive role in managing our health. Nobody else is going to prioritize it more than we are!
There is something the medical community has known for a long time: Coordinating care is hard. It is time consuming and can be overwhelming. The amount of data per patient is staggering. Paperwork errors are made. Test results are not communicated correctly. Patient records are misplaced, lost or even discarded, as they can be disposed of after 7 years in most states.
Yes, it's daunting, but it's not impossible to manage your health, especially if you have a solid and reliable system in place.
Now is the time for you to take control, and solutions like CareSync, and more tradtional personal health record apps make it significantly less daunting. CareSync combines web, iOS, and Android applications with concierge health services such as medical records retrieval and transcription, appointment scheduling, and other care coordination services.
Your CareSync Health Assistant will collect all of your medical records from not just your PCP, but also your specialists, hospitals, and other facilities you have received healthcare. They transcribe the important information from each past visit, including health conditions, medications, allergies, and more into a format that is easy to understand, and even easier to share with providers and other members of your care team.
Whether you work with a CareSync Health Assistant, or are more of the do-it-yourself kind of person (in which case, CareSync is completely free to use!)
Having portable access to your health information helps you get more from each medical visit.
If you ask those who have dealt with chronic illness or other serious health situations for advice, they usually have the same response: One must realize that you are ultimately responsible for your own health and successful treatment and/or management. Learn more at caresync.com, or feel free to give us a call at 800.587.5227. Or just get started. Click the giant green button below to check out the various CareSync plans and pick the one that's right for you!