Indulge me for a moment as a share a funny story from my past which illustrates another plus for EMRs.
My wife suddenly lost her hearing just before we got married. She was a poor college student who was stupid for not having insurance. Either way, they put her on steroids, did the MRI, did some extensive sound tests and sent her to an ear specialist(excuse the lack of proper terminology) and they basically said sorry sometimes it just happens. We can do nothing for you.
While I’m not sure the details of the next part of the story, but the end result is my wife ended back at her house with her chart in hand. She recounted the experience and told me that she took her chart with her since she there was nothing they could do for her. At the time my response was “Good!” I imagine I probably asked if that was ok and if they said anything and I vaguely remember her saying something about them giving it to her to look at. I don’t remember her pulling it off the door which would sound more like stealing. Now I would be much more concerned.
Either way, she has the chart today. I’ve always wanted to request her medical record from that provider and see what they do. This could never happen with an EMR. Even if a user walks out with the computer they would have to have some sort of authentication to see any record.
Chalk one up for EMR.
And no, I’m not sure what the HIPAA implications are for my wife or the doctor that “loses” the chart.