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Digital Medical Records Change Healthcare Landscape


This week National Public Radio has had stories about the digitalization of medical records. Supporters say patients get better service, and it's easier for doctors, but it does raise security concerns.

At Aspirus in Wausau Chief Information Officer Todd Richardson says in the former paper process it was more difficult to get records to the right place at the right time...


"....anytime someone comes in and their being moved between a primary care, moving to a hospital, moving to a specialist, having the ability to have everything captured electronically certainly helps us having the records accessible in multiple locations as the providers need it, not having delays..."

He says patients often carried film images with them from place to place. The quality is better and transferrance is almost instant.

Ashley Seiler is a Nurse Practitioner at Ministry Medical Group's Crandon facility. She says they use Marshfield Clinic's "Cattails" system. She says the digital system allows patients to have records go between medical providers...


"....but being affiliated with the Marshfield Clinc, the cardiology team and other specialties, we have access to the same to the same labs and notes pretty much the same day..."

Some critics say the records are exposed to hackers, but Richardson from Aspirus says while it's tough to guarantee total security, they are boosting security measures...


"....we're in the process of putting bio-metrics in so you're going to be using your finger to log in and out of the system...."

The Affordable Healthcare Act requires digitized records by the end of 2014.

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