One of the most important things to remember within the medical world is that the health of a patient is always changing. Our health is always changing, whether for the better or with new issues arising. That translates, simply put, to more health records. By having access to medical records, patients can download their records, manage them with the swipe of a finger on DrOwl and make them portable, thus empowering medical decisions every step of the way.
We all need healthcare advocates and being our own advocate is the first step in the process. Being proactive in our own health and the healthcare we receive leads to a better understanding of the current state of our health. Understanding what is in our medical records means being able to share information, at the most important times, with our providers. It also means being able to correct errors in our records. This helps prevent mistakes down the road. Mistakes which can lead to the most tragic of mistakes.
It is incredibly important to understand why having a healthcare advocate is proven to lead to better outcomes for patients. When a patient is experiencing an emergency, by giving a patient access to the conditions they have experienced, medications they have been on, and most especially, any allergies they may have it changes the entire trajectory of both treatment and diagnosis. Now, we put treatment before diagnosis because the impact is far greater in a treatment plan typically than with a diagnosis itself – although it is impacted in many cases. A simple error in one’s record can mean the difference between two diagnoses which could mean a completely different treatment. When the healthcare advocate has access to medical records and information, they can advise medical providers and help make more educated decisions.
Being proactive in managing your own health means understanding your care options. It also means being in the driver’s seat with doctors and ensuring your provider has a full picture of your health, rather than the fast cursory review they are sometimes forced to take.
Maintaining a proactive stance means far more than getting in contact with doctors, caregivers, or healthcare providers. Staying informed, creating a personal “medical cheat sheet” and learning about your health history can mean the difference between life and death.
Through the use of technology or apps like DrOwl, individuals can track of their health records, health history, and the care they are receiving while having the option to share it with those they choose, including new medical providers. By having patients and their families become more informed about their overall health, the dependence on doctors and nurses to make the appropriate decisions for them is significantly reduced. This doesn’t mean your doctors and nurses won’t make decisions, it simply makes those decisions easier to make and you, the patient more involved in them.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to know is that you, the patient, own your medical records. It’s your information and you have the right to check them for errors. By taking a more proactive stance and staying up-to-date with what’s contained in your medical records, you are empowering a higher level of healthcare. One that enables you and the people you select to participate in your treatment, when needed, but also to become a stronger advocate for you when you need it the most.