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Electronic Medical Records Vital in a Natural Disaster


Posted on March 30, 2014

A natural disaster can destroy a building but not an electronic medical record system

benefits-of-electronic-medical-record-storage-300x210Electronic medical records bring many benefits, not least of which is the ability to recover patient records quickly in the event of a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane, or tornado. If your physician does not maintain electronic medical records, take matters into your own hands by requesting a digital copy of your record through OMR.

Electronic Medical Records Made a Difference in Joplin

When the city of Joplin Missouri was devastated by a tornado in May of 2011, an electronic health records system made a huge difference in people’s lives. Prior to the storm, the local hospital, St. John’s Mercy, had only recently converted to electronic health records and many members of the staff and the local community were unconvinced as to the wisdom of the switch. Some nurses, like Dottie Bringle, feared that the new system would prove cumbersome and slow down patient care. However, the storm changed their minds. The hospital was destroyed, but because the patient records were stored in an electronic format and backed up on offsite servers, no vital health information was lost. In the aftermath of the tornado, Bringle and other workers were able to access the patient records from a command center set up in the local auditorium. They quickly accounted for all the current hospital patients and saw to their care, and also forwarded patient records to neighboring hospitals so that the roughly 1,150 people injured in the storm could receive proper care.

Get Your Electronic Medical Record Now

Even if your physician does not have an electronic health records system in place, you can still reap some of the benefits of such as system by securing your own electronic copy of your medical record. Simply place a request with OMR and we will retrieve a copy of your medical record from your doctor and digitize it for you. We use high-tech scanning equipment and a rigorous quality control process to do this, so you can rest assured your electronic medical record will be clear, legible, and useful. We can then transfer the file to you via a secure online download. In order to minimize the risk of your new electronic medical record being lost in a natural disaster, we advise that you store a copy in “the cloud” as well as on the hard drive of your computer. Services such as Google Drive can provide cloud storage for free.

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