Electronic medical record (EMR) in the oncology setting tested: A first hand experience
Journal - ASCO Meeting Abstracts
16043Background: Current data indicate that America’s medicalsystem has been slow to embrace technology in relation to theuse of the electronic medical record (EMR). The disruption causedby hurricane Katrina in the lives of cancer patients livingin the city of New Orleans may prove to be an eye-opening experiencethat will persuade healthcare providers to change the traditionalway of storing medical records. This study focuses on the experienceof displaced New Orleans cancer patients. Methods: An anonymousvalidated questionnaire was completed by a random group of returningpatients six weeks after the hurricane. This random group ofpatients evacuated to various states across the country. Thefocal questions asked were: the degree of difficulty in obtainingrecords, whether the alternate oncologist had to order furthertest(s), and whether the patients agree to having their medicalrecords in an electronic format. Results: Of the total of 75respondents, 93% are served by an institution in the New Orleansarea that utilizes EMR while 7% are served by various institutionswithin the New Orleans area that do not have EMR. Overall, 81%stated ease in obtaining their records (within 1–4 days)while 19% stated difficulty (7 days or greater). Only 3% ofthe patients with EMR indicated difficulty while 100% of thenon-EMR patients stated difficulty. For patients with EMR, 83%of the alternate oncologists did not order further tests, while100% of the alternate oncologists ordered further testing forpatients without EMR. In terms of patients’ sentimentsregarding EMR, 76% agree to have EMR while 24% disagree. Conclusions:EMR in the oncology setting may prove to be an essential componentin the delivery of quality patient care in terms of safety,cost effectiveness, and preservation of privacy. The majorityof the patients surveyed agree to a form of electronic record-keepingbased on their first-hand experience.
No significant financial relationships to disclose.