Plan to Help Elderly Parents Set Up Electronic Medical Records

If you assist or provide support for an older elder in your family, check to see whether you need to help out with that individual’s electronic medical records (EMRs). You may have routinely set up your own EMRs without much thought, but many elder adults have not established or have had difficulty establishing their accounts.

EMRs are now a feature of every physician’s office and clinic. Frustratingly, doctors’ offices use different EMR programs, and most are not compatible with one another. Thus each person will often need to set up multiple EMRs, and add new ones when additional physicians enter the picture — something that can confuse a frail parent who sees several doctors.

EMRs offer lots of advantages for patients. for example, people to sign up for appointments and receive text reminders — much nicer than pesky phone calls. Patients and doctors can add information at almost any time and request renewals for their expiring prescriptions. Reviewing visit summaries, checking laboratory test results, and formulating questions before a new medical appointment is easier for patients, and EMRs offer physicians a clean copy of our medical history to read.        Continue reading

Duplicate Discharge Orders for Elderly Seniors to Adult Child

One page of the discharge orders from my mom's emergency visit. Because it was not too serious, I visited a day or two later. Her fall resulted in a short hospitalization about two weeks later.

In this day of electronic medical records, EMR’s for short, why can’t a hospital with an e-mail or fax number on file send off a copy of the discharge orders to the adult child designated by the elder parent?

Given that the private sector has figured out a way to help adult children keep track of utility bills and bank accounts, it seems like it might be easy to implement, even while keeping privacy considerations front and center.

The opportunity to read and understand the diagnosis and the specific steps that are required for recovery would help an adult children, who cannot always be right at a parent’s side, stay informed and take more knowledgeable steps to help an elder parent recover.

How about it hospitals?