This is a national discussion that needs to happen! In my advocacy business I gather a detailed health history and review medical records. I put the information on a thumb drive for my patient-clients to carry with them. Providers appreciate this as it offers a medical history, current list of medications, specialist referrals, critical labs/procedures, advanced care instructions, and more.
The United States has some of the best healthcare systems, minds, and clinicians in the world.
Great bio-informatics and healthcare innovations and technologies spawn daily to assist with patient care, continuity of care (or care coordination) and research across multiple divides in efforts to provide better care and outcomes for patients. But they are strained by one major thing, a true universal patient identifier.
The U.S just hasn’t adopted or progressed in this area as well as others. It’s no fault that other countries have ameliorate methods for care coordination. It’s actually pretty simple.
The European Union (EU) along with other participating countries offers their citizens a European Health Card. This identifier along with its shared data is utilized across multiple systems, clinicians and even countries.
If an unknown or unconscious patient gets in a car wreck in the EU the medics can swipe this card which holds all the patient’s demographic and up-to-date health information. They know the patient’s history, disease & medication list, advance directives, et cetera, right on the spot. They can even transmit or transfer that patient information along with any treatments given at the scene right into the accepting hospital’s system while in route. From there the continuity of care just continues on and improves.
Maybe it’s been here all along, circa 1935 to be precise. The Social Security number?