Nonprofit hopes to take medical records into digital age - KCTV5

Nonprofit hopes to take medical records into digital age

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For years, the issue of personal medical records and internet security has been a hot topic in the healthcare industry.

Concerns, like how and where is it safe to store vital patient history and information, are being filed away in Kansas City.

Accurate patient history might be the largest problem facing doctors when it comes to diagnosing a new patient.  And most area hospitals and clinics have been hand delivering medical records because of privacy concerns.

"The average Medicare patient has seven different providers they see right now," said Mike Dittemore with Lewis and Clark Information Exchange, or LACIE.

That is seven different locations for records for one patient.  But now there is Kansas City's new Health Information Exchange, a digital library that will hold vital information that approved doctors will have access to in an online databank.

"They are able to see those much more timely and see a much better history than what the patients can remember. They are able to see tests that are already completed, allergies, immunizations medical problems," Dittemore said.

All this immediate and helpful information is only a click away now for doctors.

"This information is only going to be used for healthcare treatment.  It's not going to be used for selling data, and patients can opt out," Dittemore said.

The new system is a huge step forward in healthcare in Kansas City that Mayor Sly James will soon show support for it.

LACIE is the first business north of the metro to take advantage of the mayor's new Launch KC initiative.

About 60 other cities currently use similar technology for storing medical records. Currently, there are only 15 area hospitals and clinics have signed up.

Patients can ask their doctor if interested in participating.

Initially state grants will pay for the Health Information Exchange  program.  Eventually, the cost will be billed to the participating providers, but for patients, it is free.

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