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Why It's Important for Patients to Have Access to Their Medical Recordsby@mkaufmann
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7,822 reads

Why It's Important for Patients to Have Access to Their Medical Records

by Matthew KaufmannDecember 6th, 2022
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Yale researchers found that only 53 percent of hospitals allow patients to receive their complete medical records. This lack of patient access can complicate sharing of sensitive medical records between hospitals and healthcare providers. Having access to medical records can help patients stay informed about their health and medical conditions. It can also help patients keep track of the medications they are taking and any allergies or sensitivities they have. Providing patients with access to their medical records promotes transparency, improves communication between patients and providers, and ultimately leads to better health outcomes.

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Historically, medical records have been considered the property of clinicians or health institutions.

However, a study conducted by Yale researchers found that only 53 percent of hospitals allow patients to receive their complete records.

This lack of patient access makes sharing sensitive medical records between hospitals and healthcare providers or facilities complicated by bureaucratic hold-ups and patient frustrations.

As a result, patients experience unnecessary delays in receiving care, directly impacting the quality of care.

It is essential that tools are developed that can enable the sharing of medical records directly with patients in the healthcare system.

The Importance of Patients Having Access to Their Medical Records

There are several reasons why hospital patients should have access to their medical records.

For one, having access to their healthcare records can help patients stay informed about their health and medical conditions.

This can be especially important for patients with chronic or complex medical conditions requiring ongoing treatment and monitoring.

Additionally, accessing their medical records can help patients track their progress and better understand the effects of any treatments they receive.

Access to their healthcare records can help patients communicate more effectively with their doctors and other healthcare providers.

When patients have access to their medical records, they can provide their doctors with accurate and up-to-date information about their health, which can help the doctors make more informed decisions about their care.

Additionally, accessing their medical records can help patients ensure that their medical records are complete and accurate, preventing misunderstandings and errors in their care.

In addition to the benefits for individual patients, having access to medical records can also improve the overall quality of care in a hospital.

Patients' access to their medical records can help reduce duplication of testing and other unnecessary medical procedures.

This can save time and resources and help prevent patients from being exposed to unnecessary risks.

Providing hospital patients with access to their medical records can help improve the quality and effectiveness of their healthcare and help medical patients take more steps towards improving their role in their health.

How one digital platform can tokenize and provide medical records to patients

Platforms like ShelterZoom, a blockchain-based, smart-document SaaS provider, provide hospitals with DocuWalk and Document GPS, solutions to empower patients with complete ownership and control over their medical records, offering a glimpse into Web3’s potential to drastically improve healthcare delivery.

By leveraging ShelterZoom’s document tokenization tools, hospitals empower their patients to take full ownership of their sensitive medical records to improve communication between patients and relevant parties and, ultimately, improve healthcare outcomes.

In addition, ShelterZoom shields patients’ medical data from cyber breaches and allows them to bypass bureaucratic hurdles by delivering their own medical records directly to a specialist or clinic. 

With Document GPS, ShelterZoom’s newest product, the sender has a timestamped log in their interactive attachment library built into their email interface.

This empowers senders to track how recipients interact with each file. In addition, ShelterZoom built Document GPS on the same innovative blockchain technology powering its entire platform, allowing users an extra layer of security integrated into the system.

“In addition to empowering patients to own and control their own medical records, they will also benefit from unprecedented levels of security due to them being tokenized via the blockchain,” says Chao Cheng-Shorland, CEO of ShelterZoom.

“This allows patients to share the necessary parts of their medical records with a clinic or pharmaceutical company and then revoke access when it is no longer relevant.”

Additional benefits of giving patients access to their medical records

There are many other benefits to providing hospital patients with access to their medical records.

For example, having access to their medical records can better help patients understand the instructions and advice given to them by their doctors.

This can help patients follow their treatment plans more effectively, improving the chances of a successful outcome.

Access to their medical records can also help patients keep track of the medications they are taking and any allergies or sensitivities they have.

This can help to prevent dangerous drug interactions and other adverse reactions.

Additionally, accessing their medical records can help patients prepare for medical appointments by reviewing their medical history and making a list of any questions or concerns they want to discuss with their doctor.

In addition to the benefits for individual patients, providing patients with access to their medical records can also help to improve the overall functioning of a hospital.

For example, when patients have access to their medical records, it can help reduce the time doctors and other healthcare providers spend on administrative tasks, such as tracking medical records and answering patients' questions.

This can free up more time for doctors to spend on direct patient care, improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the hospital.

Another benefit of providing hospital patients with access to their medical records is that it can help to improve the accuracy and completeness of medical records.

When patients have access to their medical records, they can review them for accuracy and completeness and provide their doctors with any missing or incorrect information.

This can help ensure that medical records are accurate and complete, preventing misunderstandings and errors in care.

Additionally, providing patients with access to their medical records can help to promote transparency and trust in the healthcare system.

When patients see the information in their medical records, it can help build their trust in the healthcare system and their doctors.

This can encourage patients to be more open and honest with their doctors, improving their quality of care.

There are many compelling reasons why hospital patients should have access to their medical records.

Providing patients with access to their medical records can help to improve the quality and effectiveness of their healthcare and can help to empower patients to take a more proactive role in their well-being.

Closing Thoughts

When patients have access to their medical records, they will be fully informed about their health and medical history.

This can help them to make more informed decisions about their care and treatment and can also help them to better understand their health status and any potential health risks that they may face. 

Additionally, having access to their medical records can help patients more easily coordinate their care with multiple healthcare providers and make it easier for them to track their health over time.

Providing patients with access to their medical records promotes transparency, improves communication between patients and their healthcare providers, and ultimately leads to better overall health outcomes.