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“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Friday, February 02, 2007
    Great Minds Think Alike

    The doc who writes The Blog That Ate Manhattan recently posted on a method of documenting extremely confidential patient information that I've been using for a long time: the sticky note. I do this a lot. If a patient tells me something that they don't want to go in the chart but is relevant to their care, I've got to remember it somehow. My practice is way too busy for me to trust to my memory. The sticky note (can I say 'Post-It' without getting sued? Nah, better not risk it) is the perfect answer. It's there if I need it but instantly removable if I need to send copies of the patient's records.

    However, our practice is in the midst of converting to electronic medical records, or EMR. This means that the sticky-note confidentiality option no longer works. The MD quoted above is also wrestling with this problem:

    In the EMR, the only option I have is to make an entire encounter confidential,
    so that no other provider in our system can read it. I do use that option for
    the occasional celebrity patient or for the employees who wants their records
    uber-protected. But that does not work as well, in my opinion, for handling
    those little bits of personal information that count.

    The EMR has not reached my office yet, but sooner or later it will. I have no idea if our system allows for the confidential encounter option mentioned above; I'll have to check with someone who's already using it. If not, I'll have to come up with something. Perhaps the old-fashioned Rolodex would work for keeping notes - I'm still a big fan of those.

    And as I read this blog, I realized I'm not the only doc out there who likes to write about food. TBTAM is going on my blogroll.

    (via GruntDoc)




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