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Hip Replacement
Posted Monday, 26 October 2009 By Pat Lynch
My husband died of septicemia following a hip replacement operation. His medical care, as his condition deteriorated, demonstrated many problems with training and work practices, information management, and analytical capabilities of the medical profession. He went into the hospital with a broken hip. Hip replacement surgery was executed. He left the operating theater with a bacterial infection. The infection spread to a number of parts of his body. Each symptom was treated by a different specialist. The treatments were completely uncoordinated. The doctors never spoke with one another. Communication of condition, treatment and medications was done through sloppy notes scribbled on a clipboard which hung from the end of his bed. When I asked about interactions among the medications, the doctor was insulted that I had investigated potential interactions. It was clear that he was unaware of the other treatments. There was no central database to highlight potential problems of multiple simultaneous treatments and no analytical aids beyond the independent thought processes of each of the specialists. The doctors treating the various symptoms never once collaborated on an overall strategy to prioritize and coordinate the various treatments.

A single database with associated analytical aides would have improved the situation. A smart database that required interaction and concurrence among the doctors could conceivably changed the outcome. A personal history and current treatment database is a critical first element in a strategy to improve both efficiency and results.
bone loss
Posted Monday, 26 October 2009 By Dr Richard Hampton
My wife has osteoporosis and her back is bent rather badly now. There had been a record made of her losing height,and we don't know if a bone density test was done. At least no treatment was ordered. Many years later, treatment was started and is in progress, but the damage has been done. She now has a severe case of spinal stenosis, which is a degeneration of the spinal cord caused by osteoporosis.

The other case involves my brother-in-law. He fell at home and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was kept overnight. He lives alone so it was decided he should go in a nursing home for rehab. There he experienced pain when the therapist worked with his legs. She told him she thought he had a broken hip, but it was not mentioned at the hospital so she was afraid of bringing up the subject, saying she could lose her job. Finally a doctor was convinced to x-ray the hip, and it was found to be broken. If he had the use of a PHR, they would have found that he broke his bones quite often. They might have been more careful to check for a broken hip.
Breast Cancer
Posted Monday, 26 October 2009 By Joan Klinetob
I had been given a mammogram in August (a few years back) and was told by the original Doctor (before the mammogram), the mammogram technician, and the sonogram technician that the lump that I had could not possibly be cancerous. By October of that year, the lump had become painful, so I knew that it had changed. Admittedly, I waited until after Christmas to get another mammogram, but the results came back with the lump being filled with aggressive cancer. If I had not requested another test, I probably would have died from breast cancer. The doctor never ordered a follow-up mammogram after the results of the first test, he just requested that I should have a follow-up test six months into the future. He never checked, plus it might have been potentially too late to prevent the spread into my lymph nodes.

Personal health records would have made the treatment following the mastectomy much easier for the many doctors that had been assigned to my case to follow what had been done and when. Every doctor had no ability to see what had been done and what tests had been taken. I needed to keep a folder with all the procedures and carry it to all the different appointments. A PHR would have made my medical follow-ups much more efficient. I was required to remember all that had been done, even now four years later. I have stopped carrying the folder, yet I still am asked questions about past procedures many years later. My memory of all the procedures is faulty, to say the least, yet doctors still quiz me about all that has been done since I was diagnosed. PHRs should be required for all people, as they would save time and help each doctor to not repeat the same analysis over and over. They could add to the knowledge base of each specialist, and that would lead to a more efficient and effective cure.
Posted Thursday, 09 September 2010 By prueba
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