Continuing cancer battles
November 14, 2018
After about two weeks as a patient at Share Medical Center and a scheduled round of several weeks of chemotherapy, I am somewhat better but am facing a third round of chemo next week for the liver.
I am enjoying the cards and letters as well as the kind comments if I run into you on the street (not very much of that happening; not outside much at all).
This column is more about the amazing modern electronic medicine where Share Medical and other hospital providers each have spent over a million dollars to accumulate all medical records. Because of this, when I see Dr. Reitz in Enid or Oklahoma City or Dr. Rader via telemedicine in Alva (even though he is talking and viewing from St. Anthony's in Oklahoma City), everybody sees the same lab or radiology test results. The electronic health records (EHR) system still is not 100 percent, which won't happen because the individual doctor's offices can't afford the million dollar expenditure to play in the same game. So 100 percent duplication won't happen until they are forced out of business and have no choice but to operate out of the hospital system.
Accuracy Is Stunning
One of the forever problems is hospital mistakes. We've all seen stories where someone enters a large hospital and the wrong leg is amputated or the wrong breast is removed.
Share Medical is doing a state-of-the-art method to virtually eliminate those errors. In my two-week stay a couple of nurses would come in every two or three hours and read the bar code on my wrist and confirm that I was Lynn Martin. By reading my wrist the computer would pop up the proper medical chart for me, and then the doctor's instructions would be displayed. Any pills to be dispensed would be separately labeled with their own bar codes. If the two match up, the computer provides a happy beep, and I am given the prescribed pill.
This confirmation procedure happened a half dozen times per day. As a result, I got the proper dosage at the proper time of day, which entwined to attack various symptoms of my esophageal cancer and the infection that triggered my hospitalization. As a result, I can now swallow and actually eat food through my mouth. We are still doing a lot of tube feeding, but the precise medicine layering is an art that wasn't available until very recently.