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JLeslie's avatar

On a medical chart are significant health conditions on one page at the front of the chart?

Asked by JLeslie (65414points) 2 months ago from iPhone

So, doctors don’t have to go digging for the info.

For instance if the patient has liver damage or heart problems or history of shingles or genetic risk factors. Is it listed on one main page and then a reference to what date the diagnosis was made or to the test results leading to the diagnosis?

How is the chart arranged to help doctors with this?

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9 Answers

LifeQuestioner's avatar

Good question! I see about 5 or 6 doctors because of my various health conditions and although they are all supposed to be sharing information with each other, I find that that’s not always the case, which is pretty alarming. So I always try to update each of my doctors as I see them but you would think that they would have some sort of system like you suggest to bring those things to their attention.

chyna's avatar

Apparently not in all offices. My mom, who died in 2011, had a urostomy 30 years prior. Which means that she had bladder cancer and had to have her bladder removed.
Every time she went to her family doctor, which was the same one she had gone to for years, he acted surprised that she had a urostomy. Then he flipped back in his chart a few hundred pages, would shout Ureka, and go on with his exam. Okay, that last sentence was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. And he refused to use computers.

JLeslie's avatar

@LifeQuestioner I do the same, bringing lab reports the doctor might not have or telling them a new diagnosis. I feel like a lot of the time the doctor doesn’t really take it into account if it was from another specialty. Or, if within a specialty that the doctor isn’t taking in all of the information in my history. I’ve had more than once had a doctor ignore something that I think is important and the next doctor thinks it is very important. It’s frustrating.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Does the computer charts highlight significant health issues? I assume if it does it’s only if the doctor tagged it important.

chyna's avatar

Yes. At least in the office I worked in. At the top of the computer charts on every page was red letters in a yellow ribbon things like: blind. Allergies, heart condition, diabetic, prone to falling, etc.
But that is only as good as the person who deems it’s important enough to highlight.

JLeslie's avatar

Thank you!

smudges's avatar

There aren’t any ‘charts’ in my hospital system. There’s about 7 computer pages of everything that I’ve been seen for since the system began, even things that were a one-time thing and never appeared again. It lists conditions as well as procedures/surgeries. It also lists allergies, meds and vaccinations. Sometimes I think it’s too much for them to wade through because it’s really extensive, but I’ve been seeing the same docs for a number of years and they pretty much know me. When I see a doc outside of the hospital system, they send any relevant reports to my primary physician who then has it entered into the computer so everyone knows what’s going on. All info is in one place for everyone.

I certainly understand your concern. Paper charts don’t get passed from office to office, so different docs may never see info that they should. I’d think that a hospital system like Orlando Regional Medical Center would have a computerized system. Are any of your docs with them? Maybe you’d like to have at least your primary physician in their system. As time goes on and you see more people, your info would build up and more people would have it at their fingertips.

JLeslie's avatar

@smudges I’m not even worried from doctor to doctor, I bring the information or upload it to the portal. My curiosity was when the doctor does have the information do they have a way that pops the important conditions up in one place and prominent.

smudges's avatar

^^ Conditions don’t pop up in bold red letters, but in the computer system it’s right there beginning on page 1 and going on for however many pages are necessary.

I’m not sure what they do in charts these days. I do remember that on the folder the chart is in, the tab that sticks out with your name on it has different colors which signify allergies, fall risks, and whatever else they want to know at a glance.

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