By EPATIENT DAVE DEBRONKART
I had a skin cancer diagnosed in November. It’s my third, and I researched the last one heavily, so I knew what I wanted (Mohs on the nose). But the hospital that did the diagnosis insisted I wait and have a consult visit in January, and *then* they’d let me schedule the procedure, probably in March.
I said I know what treatment I want – can’t I schedule the surgery now? They said, “That’s not how we do it.”
So I went home and called around. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said if I could get them the information they would book me for January, right then and there.
How long did it take me to get them the data? 15 minutes. I went back to the first place’s portal and downloaded my visit note and pathology report and emailed it all to BIDMC. An hour after I dialed the phone I had the appointment I wanted.
Patient power. I took my records – and my business – elsewhere.
This is of course a nightmare for providers who think they can lock us in. And it’s a dream come true for providers who have been longing to win us away by providing better service.
(I would have had the surgery before now, within January, but COVID struck so we postponed.)
Medical record access is empowering! Thank you to those who worked so long and hard to create these policies!
It’s also great news for providers who are trying hard to be #patientcentric: now we can easily reward them with our business!
It’ll be even better in the coming years because data #interoperability via FHIR will let apps and hospitals go GET the data … or, even better, let consumers already have their data in their own app, to do anything they want with it. True patient autonomy.
Dave deBronkart is a patient activist, speaker and author. This was originally published on his LinkedIn page