I have Occular Hypertension - possible cause of Glaucoma. I have lived with this condition for the past 20 years. Since the late eightees I saw one Ophthamologist - Dr. Robert Stewart of The Houston Eye Associates. Dr Stewart passed away last summer and I decided that I would eventually change my physician for my chronic disease care of the eye.
I searched and eventually I settled on The Texas Eye Institute and Dr Jesse McKey. My plan was to visit him yesterday and ask Houston Eye Associates to transfer MY medical records (from the past 20 years) to him so that he can study the comprehensive care I have received and pick up from where Dr. Stewart left off.
When I arrived for my appointment the assistant at Texas Eye told me she was having problems getting Houston Eye Associates sending the records.
She called again and again - each time receiving some faxes and incorrect data from my files at Houston Eye Associates!
After 3 hours!! That's right 3 hours, we still did not get the necessary information from Houston Eye Associates. And by the way these records technically belong to the patient! I own them!
If health records were electronic and hosted by a central system like your credit report...then this transfer would have been MUCH MUCH easier.
The whole transaction of getting my records unsucessfully from Houston Eye Associates to Texas Eye Institute was 3 hours with 6 people involved (total of 18 man hours!).
OUCH!!! at an average cost of $30 per hour that is a ridiculous $540 - just to try to get records transferred - and still unsuccessful.
Finally we gave up. Dr McKey did a basic exam, accepted cash for payment of his service at discounted rate and then he personally called Houston Eye Associates to get records transferred by talking to the chief doctor at Houston Eye. Probably took another 2 man hours of medical docitor time!
If there was ever a case for getting our medical records and systems in an electronic format and help reduce cost.