Friday, December 31, 2010

1000 character medical description

Computerized medical records are the way of the future. Oh goody. now we are dependent on technicians limiting what doctors can say about us and making them fill in forms etc. What if we don't fit in a form?

This doctor was trying to describe his patient's health and was stuck with 1000 characters. Could I be described in 1000 characters? I just went over to MS Word and started typing to describe myself. I got up to 300 characters pretty darn fast. Never mind talking in medical jargon about my health crap. And all of my health issues which are still in paper records in a vault some place.

But if a doctor is prepping me for surgery or making a treatment recommendation, there should be no limitations on what (s)he is writing. I want a full description and complete details. My red blood count runs low because of chemo so it is not an indicator of other problems. My blood pressure runs low so if it gets to a normal level, it might be considered on the high side.

Think about you and your health, shouldn't a doctor have lots of space to describe you?

A programmer who sets a limitation on a doctor's assessment or treatment has no medical training. I understand the need for computer fields that are the same for each patient and the whole point of computerization is to have standardization, etc. But the human body is a mystery and medical science can not be limited by computer fields or number of characters.

Computerized records might be a good idea but I think we need to work out the kinks.

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