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British Doctors Fear Repercussions Of Sharing EMR Data With Patients

Posted on April 19, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

Like their American counterparts, British doctors fear giving patients too much access to their electronic health records, according to a new survey.

The survey was conducted by a non-profit group called the Medical Protection Society, which provides professional indemnity coverage to doctors, dentists and health professionals globally.

Researchers there found that 75 percent of patients responding to the survey want medical records to be written in “simple language” that patients can read without help, according to the British Journal of Healthcare Computing.

Doctors, on the other hand, aren’t so keen on the idea, with only 21 percent agreeing that medical records should be written in this manner. Moreover, 84 percent of physician respondents were afraid that sharing data would complicate their relationship with patients and potentially turn out to be a time sink.

It’s not so much that doctors fear sharing information with patients. Physicians seemed to agree that it’s good when patients understand their records and can make better decisions about their own care.

But it seems that doctors and patients have different expectations as to how to manage that sharing. While patients want readable records, physicians worry that it’ll be difficult to write records accurately if they have to avoid clinical terms, jargon, acronyms and shorthand that might confuse patients.

In fact, they believe that writing a record in non-professional English might cause those records to grow considerably longer while offering less value to other professionals, the BJHC reports.

To avoid such problems, it will be important to introduce comprehensive educational support for both doctors and patients, the researchers concluded.

Lose Weight and Win Money With DietBet

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

After I posted about the study that found financial incentives to be a good motivator for weight loss, I have been on the lookout for more websites popping up like Gym Pact. I was curious to see how much something like this would motivate me, and since I no longer belong to a gym, Gym Pact was out of the question. Well, today a friend of my sent me an invitation to a website called DietBet, and I was immediately intrigued.

DietBet is a 4-week program, where participants need to lose 4% of their body weight (or more) in order to get any of the “pot.” You can create your own challenge, or join someone else’s, and pay a certain sum of money to participate. For instance, the one I joined was $25. And let me tell you, I’m more motivated than ever before to lose weight, even just to get back my $25.

Whenever a new person enters your group, the pot rises. I was looking at the top game, and it’s at almost $9,000. I wouldn’t mind being part of that group! When the date arrives for the contest to begin, you have to take two photos  — one full length photo of you on a scale in “airport security” attire, and one of the scale, the number on it, and a piece of paper with a weigh-in word, to prove it’s actually you. I was wondering how they would do this, actually, and it seems like they’ve got it under control! These photos are kept private, and you don’t have to share your weight with the others in the competition.

During the competition, you can post photos, write comments, and just interact with others in the game. There is also an iPhone app companion for the game, which I thought was nice.  Starting on the last day of the competition, you have 48 hours to “weigh out”

I really believe that money is a great motivator for just about anything, and I’m interested to see if I actually have any success using this site. (PS, if you want to join in, my group starts on April 29th. The more the merrier!)