During a recent trip to the doctors office, I noticed that all my answers to the questions that were being asked to me were being input into a laptop.
The nurse carried one around to track all my statistics, and the doctor's fingers were keeping up a pretty fast pace on the keyboard as she typed in what I had to say.
They needed some records from another provider, and that was also handled seamlessly through their system - right down to me giving them the permission to do so. No more signed release forms in the mail.
The prescriptions were wirelessly delivered to Intermec printers down the hallway and handed to us as we left.
I got to thinking about how safe all my medical records were when they are being sent around electronically all over the place, and the doctor assured me that the equipment they use ensures data integrity and security.
My info was just as secure as their inventory management system. Those little bar code labels from tag printers were on every piece of disposable equipment they used during that visit.
Everything used or given was tracked - right down to the littlest thing.
Automation is a great thing, reducing work, tracking inventory, and making less paperwork, but there is something re-assuring about actually holding that paper in your hands sometimes!