MedKaz® Is The Answer
Vermont Public Radio reported that the Vermont Legislature’s Health Care Oversight Committee was told at its July 17, 2012 meeting that “despite years of work and millions of dollars spent, officials say the [electronic medical record] systems are not fully compatible and the information they produce is not always accurate” and that they can’t “exchange data across different platforms.“
This is a serious problem not only for Vermont but many other states as well. In response, Merle Bushkin, Founder & CEO of Health Record Corporation, submitted the following presentation to the Oversight Committee Chair, pointing out that the MedKaz® is the solution to this troubling problem.
If you want doctors to have access to a patient’s complete medical record so they can avoid mistakes and coordinate their patient’s care today, the MedKaz is the answer.
If you want doctors to avoid redundant or unnecessary tests, the MedKaz is the answer.
If you want doctors and other care providers to embrace electronic medical records, the MedKaz is the answer.
If you want doctors to remain financially viable so they can treat more Medicare and Medicaid patients, the MedKaz is the answer.
If you want to eliminate the annoying need for patients to fill out the same forms and answer the same questions over and over, the MedKaz is the answer.
If you want patients to participate in decisions about their care, the MedKaz is the answer.
If you want to protect the security and privacy of patient records, the MedKaz is the answer.
If you want a medical record system that is financially sustainable without government financing, the MedKaz is the answer.
In short, if you want to improve the quality and coordination of care while reducing its cost, the MedKaz is the answer. It aligns the interests of patients and their providers. It’s a medical record solution that works and is available today!
- It reconciles the incompatibilities of today’s disparate systems.
- It uses established, proven technology.
- It’s secure, easy to learn and use, and affordable.
- It’s free to physicians, increases their income and doesn’t disrupt the way they keep records or practice medicine.
- It gives patients control of their records and enables them to participate in decisions about their care.
The fundamental difference between the MedKaz and other systems is that the MedKaz is designed for the patient, others are designed for care providers. The MedKaz coexists with all the disparate care provider systems.
This different approach enables doctors and other care providers to keep records the way they want, yet access a patient’s records and information from all their providers at the point of care in ways only fantasized about in other systems. This advantage persists even when every care provider adopts an electronic medical record (EMR) system.
With the MedKaz, patients have peace of mind and can participate in their care decisions. They know their records are always secure. They can read them to understand their condition and issues, and correct inaccuracies. They know their doctors and other care providers will have the information they need to provide better care. And they no longer have to fill out the same forms and answer the same questions over and over again!
Care providers benefit as well. They finally have the patient information they need to practice better, lower–cost medicine. They can avoid medical errors and improve the quality of care they provide, coordinate their patient’s care with their patient’s other providers, avoid redundant or unnecessary tests — all while enjoying increased income, improved work flow and not having to change their charting system. And for those providers reluctant to adopt an EMR system, the MedKaz may help change their minds as they grow accustomed to using digitized copies of their paper records rather than having to pull their paper charts.
The Patented MedKaz System
HRC assembles a patient’s complete medical record from all their providers in all formats – both paper and electronic — on a distinctive flash drive called a MedKaz. The patient owns and controls it and carries it on their key chain or in their wallet. It is HIPAA compliant and secure with password control to two levels. (Emergency records and information can be accessed without a password.)
The patient gives it to their physician or other care providers when they need care – thereby avoiding the elaborate and costly networks and patient identification systems required by provider–focused systems. When their provider logs on, the patient enters their password. The MedKaz opens displaying several documents waiting for the provider that save them precious time. They provide succinct answers to the very questions the doctor typically asks to understand their patient’s health and reason(s) for their visit. The provider can spend the time saved actually talking with their patient or seeing more patients.
They then treat their patient and record their notes as usual. If they need information about their patient’s past care, test results, etc., they merely sort and search the records electronically on the patient’s MedKaz. With only two or three clicks, they can access and read the relevant records.
At the end of the visit, the physician’s assistant uploads the notes and other visit–related documents to HRC’s Servers to make them sortable and searchable, and verifies that HRC’s servers captured the data correctly. Finally, they download them to both the patient’s MedKaz and care provider’s Patient Record Manager (PRM). When they have been downloaded, HRC erases them from its Servers so they can’t be breached or stolen.
The PRM is an application HRC gives providers at no cost that enables them, including those who keep paper records, to manage their patients’ records electronically. It also is the part of the MedKaz System that enables care providers — even those who use paper — to meet 80% of Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements, and to manage public health issues such as drug or device recalls, disease alerts, etc.
The MedKaz business model also is unique. The care provider dispenses the MedKaz to their patient for $100 MSRP. In turn, the patient subscribes to HRC’s Update and Support Services for $75 per year. Each time the patient sees a care provider, HRC pays the provider a fee to update the patient’s MedKaz. These update fees can increase a typical primary care physician’s average reimbursement by 6% to 8% or more, and their annual income by $25,000 or more! The advantage to the patient is that their providers update their MedKaz so it is always current; the patient needn’t bother.
How the MedKaz Compares
The MedKaz doesn’t compete with care providers’ systems. It complements them by accommodating records in all formats. With the MedKaz, the doctor or hospital keeps their records any way they wish, using any electronic record system or even paper. The records they generate, i.e. their “output,” becomes input to the MedKaz! HRC’s Servers turn all of their output into sortable, searchable pdf documents that can be read in a browser. These include complete progress notes, operative and discharge reports, lab reports, images and every other type of record. (In special situations, Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic also use pdfs to share excerpts of a patient’s records with other care providers.)
Displaying records in a browser has three huge benefits. First, there is no question that it works. The technology is proven, security isn’t an issue, its available on any computer with an Internet connection, and can be implemented immediately. Second, there’s no need to wait years until every doctor installs an electronic record system for all systems to be standardized, or for all systems to be linked together in a nationwide network. Third, it costs only a small fraction of the provider–focused approach but the payoff can be huge. If every Medicare and Medicaid patient had a MedKaz, we conservatively estimate we would save more than $200 billion over 10 years.
Other available personal health record systems don’t begin to compare with the MedKaz even though many have been around for years. These include flash drives that require the patient to enter limited emergency information but contain no actual provider records, systems populated with insurance reimbursement records that providers can’t be sure are accurate, and platforms like Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health, which require the patient to enter most of the data and keep it current. Google Health failed to gain patient and provider support and folded. Microsoft HealthVault reportedly was failing for the same reasons but got a reprieve by taking on Google’s orphaned users.
HRC completed its software development in November 2011 and has approximately 400 patients and doctors around the country participating in a three–tiered pilot study.
To date, it has issued three upgrades to its software to fix bugs and enhance the MedKaz application. While software can always be improved and significant improvements are in the works, the MedKaz System is fully operational today and can be rolled out on a large scale within months at a reasonable cost.