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D.C. To Improve Access To Health Records

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D.C.'s Health Information Exchange will encourage doctor's offices to switch from paper records to electronic.
D.C. Primary Care Association
D.C.'s Health Information Exchange will encourage doctor's offices to switch from paper records to electronic.

By Rebecca Sheir

The district is using a new stimulus grant to develop a Health Information Exchange. The network will make residents health-care records accessible electronically, in any clinical setting.

How many times have you checked in to see a new doctor, only to be handed the clipboard?

As Sharon Baskerville puts it, "You have to fill out a two-page form and they wanna know all the dates and when did you have that? You're like making up half of it because you don't really remember."

Baskerville says the Health Information Exchange will change all that. She's the CEO of the D.C. Primary Care Association, a health-advocacy group. It's using another stimulus grant to bring medical providers electronically up-to-speed.

"We will figure out what they need, get it for them, help explain how to use it and then get them away from paper and into this better flow of information. We call it liberating data," she says.

Baskerville says some people may worry their data will be too liberated, which is why her group is partnering with the District to ensure the information is secure.

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