I’m always fascinated to learn about various international EMR and healthcare IT. While in many cases it’s hard to compare the various health systems with the US, I think there’s often something we can learn. Plus, when I saw the title of this article, “Dear EMR: Greetings from Paris, Wish You Were Here,” how could I resist not reading it? In fact, you should do the same. Go read, and I’ll wait for you to get back….
Maybe I was also drawn to this story because I’ve had a similar experience with healthcare in Italy. Luckily, it was my friend that was the patient and not me. He actually suffered from ulcers and we got to enjoy the quality Italian medical care up close and personal. Luckily, unlike the lady in the story, we spoke Italian and had an Italian with us who was the daughter of one of the doctors that worked there.
Even so, I can imagine how much better it had been if they’d had access to my friend’s medical record. The care they could have provided would have been much better. Information is power. Although, I was surprised how little information they took before treating my friend. I’m sure the thought of communicating what happened at the visit back to a primary care doctor was the last thing on their mind. Thankfully in the two years I lived in Italy I never had to visit a doctor myself. Even though some of them I met outside of the hospital we’re incredibly smart and talented individuals. I think I was ruined when I was visiting another friend and the cigarette butts were on the floor of the halls.
For those that didn’t read the above article, the last paragraph was pretty interesting for me:
Perhaps my own story makes me sound like a demanding, spoiled American who expects Cadillac medical care. And maybe I am. But even though I write about healthcare technology for a living, having a personal experience of what healthcare is like without it helped me to better understand its importance.