The Healthi app has been designed to make accessing and maintaining up to date medical records easier on both the patient and any medical professional that may require them.
We spoke to Alan Tran, a Medical Registrar at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and Juliet Richards, a Consultant Pharmacist and founder of MyMedsHealth. They shared with us their thoughts on the importance of keeping and maintaining previous health records, and their usefulness to medical practitioners in the future.
How important is it to keep track of your previous medical records?
Alan Tran: Having a concise, comprehensive and intuitive system to keep track of a patient’s previous medical records is of utmost importance. Keeping up to date with any new developments including chronic illnesses, surgeries, past and current medications, aids in gaining a clearer picture of a patient’s overall general health, which is essential in providing complete holistic care.
Juliet Richards: Having up to date medical records is incredibly important for health professionals as this can influence treatment decisions. Health professionals do their best to keep their own patient medical records up to date. However, because people often see multiple health care providers, this becomes a difficult task. Patients who also keep track of their own medical records, including changes to their medications, can not only assist health professionals but studies have shown that patients who are more involved in their own care do better.
Is it easier to make a diagnosis with previous medical history on hand?
Alan Tran: An accurate medical history is absolutely essential when it comes to formulating appropriate diagnoses and management plans. Whilst taking a comprehensive medical history from a patient remains an art, having some accurate form of medical record outlining important details in a patient’s medical history can be invaluable. It ensures that important investigations, results, or events in the past are not missed. It can save valuable time. It is used to verify accuracy of histories. It also saves patient’s time and effort of having to remember every little detail of their past, which as they get older can become more complex and convoluted.
Juliet Richards: From my experience working in large tertiary hospitals, having no medical records for a patient can delay treatment and can sometimes lead to unintended errors. Having incomplete medical records can also be quite dangerous. For the treating doctors and other staff, it is a waste of valuable time and effort trying to track down medical records.
What are some good ways to make seeing multiple practitioners at once as easy as possible?
Alan Tran: When seeing multiple medical practitioners at once the importance is within continuity of care and having access to all the same information. A standardised. comprehensive, intuitive and easily accessed way to communicate is essential.
Juliet Richards: Communication between health professionals is often quite poor which risks fragmentation of patient care. Having shared access to patient’s medical records would help to improve the continuity of care and reduce this fragmentation. Patients with chronic disease, particularly diabetes, are more likely to see a number of different healthcare providers meaning their medical information is at risk of being fragmented as they move around the health care system. It would be very useful if patients were able to keep tabs of their movements and to record any updated or changes to their care.
It is clear that when it comes to communication between a patient and their medical professionals, an up to date and well looked after records of previous medical history is essential to getting the best care and maintaining your health.
The Healthi app can provide you with a platform to quickly and easily keep your health history up to date, so that you can be sure your medical practitioner is giving you the best care possible.