The American Medical News of AMA reports about Pentagon’s universal electronic medical record system:
Imagine this: A patient you’ve never met comes into your office after having last seen a doctor more than 6,000 miles away. But even before you speak to him, you know his complete medical history, from his allergies to the diagnosis from his last x-ray.
An automated reminder e-mail informs you the patient is due for a vaccination booster and a follow-up to some lab work that his previous doctor ordered months ago. When the patient’s checkup is complete, all of the necessary evaluation and management codes for the visit are automatically compiled and ready to be sent electronically to the appropriate payer. Now the next physician to treat this patient will know everything that you’ve done without ever having to give you a call.
You might think this scenario is a long way off, but the U.S. military health system is already putting these concepts into practice. Advances that are occurring behind the scenes — as well as lessons that are being learned — could be invaluable to doctors who don’t have a military rank in front of their names.
Physicians from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to the Naval Medical Center San Diego are already cutting their teeth on the Defense Dept. system. Officials who are following its progress say the results are very encouraging. The effort has attracted the attention of several large health care systems, such as Mayo Clinic, Partners HealthCare System and Kaiser Permanente, which have initiated discussions with military health leaders in the hopes of possibly adapting parts of the system for their patients.
Partners HealthCare System is, of course, a coop of Harvard’s Brigham & Women’s and the Massachusetts General hospitals.
To test the system yourself, you can play the Java applets at this DoD website…