Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On the Same Damn Page

For a long time I've been hearing candidates talking about their plans for making the health care system more efficient and effective in providing the best patient care.

Besides calls for universal health care, "streamlining the industry by digitizing medical records" is a common pledge by both Democrats and Republicans. Today I realized why such a system would be much better than the mess we face currently.

On Monday I went to the Mt. Auburn Hospital Travel Clinic to receive vaccinations for my upcoming travels in South Africa and Southeast Asia. Instead of consulting with my primary care physician or a digitized report of which shots I had previously received, the travel "specialist" began telling me which shots I had and had not previously received. Based on her professional opinion of which shots teenagers "always" receive at certain times, I was given a vaccination that I had actually received only 11 months before. A simple call by my doctor would have avoided the mistake, but when your doctor doesn't give you the time to explain what you think your medical history may be, problems are bound to ensue.

I blame both the travel doctor and the health care system for allowing this mistake to occur, and I cross my fingers that whoever is elected president will make some progress in streamlining the practices in the health care industry.

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