Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Breasts and Technology

Here it is, 2011 and when a woman living in an urban center of the United States needs to have a doctor at a major medical center look at a mammography done at another major medical center in the same urban center, how do you think it’s done?

Yes, you guessed right.

1. The patient makes phone calls.
2. The first center makes a phone call to the “long term medical records storage unit”.
3.  Someone at the “long term medical records storage unit” finds a box and then locates the films.
4.  A courier is dispatched to drive the films to the first center.
5.  A receptionist at the first center looks at the hand written letter from the patient giving permission and then hands the (original and only existing) films to a man claiming to be the patients husband.
6.  Patient and her husband drive the films to the second facility and give it to the new doctor.

Really?

I can download over an encrypted connection, an entire Linux distro in about 3 minutes, at home.  How can hospitals possibly justify using medieval methods to move medical data?  If this was an emergency, would they have dispatched a pigeon with the films tied to its back?

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