How my EMR helped—though almost hurt—me.

June 24, 2011
I’m not just in favor of EMRs and patients communicating with clinicians via e-mail, in a theoretical sense, I actually do it. However, as much as

I’m not just in favor of EMRs and patients communicating with clinicians via e-mail, in a theoretical sense, I actually do it. However, as much as doing so has been a tremendous plus with phenomenally fast turn-around times (sometimes seconds) any day of the week, any hour of the day (after 11 p.m.; before dawn), I’m a little nervous. Not nervous that my doctors and nurses who know me well will give me wrong information, but nervous that ones who don’t, will. I recently started taking a new drug. And while most people start taking the drug at 1/6th of what will later become their normal dose, I started at full-strength. True, it’s atypical at the high dose, but it’s the dose that’s right for me. But on the day I received the drug, the nurse who was supposed to train me on how to administer it called at 9:30 p.m. and informed me things had changed. She said I had the wrong dose. She told me that she was reading the notes in my record, just as she was chatting with me on the phone, and that my doctor had changed things. I told her that the doctor was very clear with me about what dose I’d be taking. Still, she told me, I had to be wrong. To be safe though, she said she understood when I told her I’d need to verify what she was saying with my doctor the next day. Turns out, I was right. How did I find out what strength to take? I e-mailed my doctor.

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