Technology Is Keeping Track of More Than Just Scores at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Electronic Health Records: Helping Team USA and YOU Achieve Better Health and Care
Today, technology is tracking more than just scores, stats, and outcomes of competitions at the London 2012 Olympics. For the first time in history, our Olympic athletes, their doctors, and trainers will use electronic health records to track, treat, and transform the health of Team USA.
As a sports and health advocate, a current ONCer, and a former member of the staff at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, it’s thrilling to hear that electronic health records are playing a role in maintaining the peak performance of this elite group of athletes.
How Health IT Can Help You Achieve Better Care
So what does that have to do with the majority of us who aren’t elite athletes—or athletes at all? It means that managing our health and care just got easier and more efficient—and what is being used at the Olympics shows that health IT can be used locally and worldwide.
Being as healthy as possible and, if desired, at peak athletic performance, are personal decisions that require information about our health—anywhere, anytime. But how can you know what’s possible if there isn’t a system in place to track, treat, and transfer the knowledge between members of our medical teams? Health IT and in particular, electronic health records, offer great promise to allow each and every one of us to improve our understanding of our health. Over time, as the electronic health record replaces paper medical records, vital health information will be in one place for a coordinated medical team to care for each one of us. Consolidating health information can be life-saving and having it all in one place makes it convenient.
Become Engaged in Your Health Like Team USA
So how can you become like a member of Team USA and join your health care team?
- Get a copy of your electronic health record so you can be an active part of your health and care. Like the 500+ athletes of Team USA, you and those you love and care for, the impact of health IT can make a difference.
- Understand what’s in your health record and review it for accuracy. By being an active partner in your health care, you can join me and put the “I” in Health IT . This will help us all improve and enhance the coordination, safety, and quality of our care and save time and money by making sure we don’t have to fill out the same forms or undergo the same tests each time we go to see a new doctor or change health insurance companies
What Efficiency and Quality Care Mean to Me
Efficiency and quality of care also means more to me today as a full-time Latina working mother coordinating medical appointments with my husband for our two sons (ages 10 and 9), and as a caregiver of my 77-year old father; asking for copies of our medical records helps me keep track of my family’s health. Taking care of my family begins with monitoring my health first; my goal is to outlive my mother who died of cancer at the age of 57 so that I can be there for my sons.
You too can join your own medical team to follow your ‘health scores’ and create a health care plan for you and your family just by using health IT, which continues to evolve.
For those who already have their electronic health records, what difference did knowing what’s in your health record do to improve your health and that of your family? Tell me more.
And of course before signing-off – Go Team USA! Best of luck!
For more information on health IT and electronic health records, visit HealthIT.gov.