More doctors switching to digital records

June 13, 2011 4:53:28 PM PDT
Electronic medical records are the way of the future. The government is pushing hospitals and institutions to convert their paper records to computer records.

Now, one large Houston clinic has gone online -- the 19 Kelsey-Seybold Clinics.

A couple of keystrokes and Dr. Robert Turner has what he needs to know.

"I don't ever have to search through the chart looking for things," he said.

That's a big deal because Richard Walton has two huge charts.

"They didn't know what you had tried, what you had done before," Walton said.

Both doctors and patients at the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic like the new electronic medical record system.

"Everybody knows what my medical history is; everybody knows what medication I'm taking; everybody knows when I've seen my general practitioner or urologist or what. It's all in their system," Walton said.

Patients like it because you can get test results and other medical histories almost immediately. For example, if you took a cholesterol test you find your lipid panel results and it would not only show you your results but what the norms are.

"Prior to that it was call the doctor's office, get the nurse, then take a message, then call me back," mother Cecilia Winters-Morris said.

Winters-Morris now emails her questions to her seven-year-old son's doctor, and she gets the answers back on her smart phone. And her son's pediatrician likes it too.

"I can take the time to think about the situation instead of trying to hurry it up and rush the job between patients," said Dr. Kelly Bruce Lobley, a pediatrician with the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Last year, Kelsey-Seybold went 100 percent electronic medical records. It finished the conversion last year. Now, its 500,000 patients can email their doctor and get test results on a smart phone. And this is the future.

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