Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Your medical records

In recent years, medical records have become more and more available to the patient. Some medical facilities make them available on line. Others offer them at the end of each doctor visit.

I have tried to read translate my medical records. It is not as easy as you think. If it says 'patient denies... '  that just means you said you didn't have whatever they asked you about. They are also full of vague 'doctorisms' that are not as clear to the average patient. That is fine by me.

They are full of the doctor's opinion about what is going on with me. This means they are full of the thoughts and opinions of people who went ot medical school to unravel my medical mysteries. They could probably write theses on my medical uniqueness at this point. And my unique ways - for instance if I find a 'something' its guaranteed to be a 'nothing'. But if a test finds 'something'  its guaranteed to be a 'bad thing'.

But I digress.

A medical record is a pile of doctor notes, test results, procedures, diagnoses, treatment plans, and professional medical opinions.

There is the thought process that patients should find out whats in their medical records. I agree with this. I do get copies of test results. I have been known to ask what is in my records and disagree with it.

But I am not sure I think I should be able to edit my medical record as if it was a Wiki. A medical record should stand as the medical professionals' version of me. It is sort of a reference list of my medical history (blah, blah, blah) and should be what it is and nothing else.

I could add a separate list of information which becomes the patient's side of it. I mean if the doctor said I seemed to tolerate a procedure well. I could happily record in my version that I was uncomfortable and basically it was a very sucky experience. From the doctor's point of view, I might have been uncomfortable but it wasn't a walk in the park as most medical adventures are.

I am an advocate for my health but I also respect that medical professionals went to school for their training and are working with in their professional detachment to keep the emotions out of it. I am full of emotions about me.

Which reminds me, next week I need to go pick up copies of my latest test results to make sure I keep up with  my latest.

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