Even the video of cystoscopy was present on a thumb drive. I did not have to call anyone to obtain the records. Apparently, this is a tradition there that patients are in charge of their own records. It is called "file" (what we call a chart in USA). He also had all his previous records covering the last several years in his "file.” This made it extremely easy for me to review and obtain knowledge of his condition.
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Subsequently, he suffered a heart attack while I was there. We took him to the hospital with his file. Things went smoothly, since physicians had all the information needed on hand. While in the hospital, he received a copy of every test done on the same day. Hospital physicians made daily visits, explained everything to the patient and family and his notes were short and concise.
A consulting cardiologist gave proper explanations and entered brief, but precise, notes. Every day, a person visited the patient's room and asked for any grievances and complaints, which were all solved promptly. On day of discharge, a discharge note and instructions were given and entered into the file. During subsequent visits for different consultants, we carried the file and things went smoothly.
Documents were reviewed from the file and new documents were entered. No faxing, no calling anyone, and it was a much more efficient and low-cost operation with much better patient care since all the needed information was readily available in the proper format.
This entire process was in stark contrast with the chaotic environment we experience here in our clinics. Every time I'm looking in my office, someone is always making copies, spending endless amounts of time and wasting paper. When I get a pulmonary referral from other physicians, most patients arrive with hundreds of pages of documents which are impossible to review.
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Most of them are copy and pasted and repetitious. Every single day we get a barrage of requests for patients applying for disability and other various reasons, requiring my staff to make hundreds of copies. Every time my patient visits the emergency department or needs hospitalization, an average of 80 to 100 pages of records arrive with senseless information, and most of the time these records arrive after the patient has already left the office. My nurses are constantly sending records to the billing agency, insurance companies for prior authorizations and who knows where else.