Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Tulsa Sports Injury| Podcast 7 – Part 3
Dr. Edwards: I would say it depends on the system.
Dr. Edwards: When I worked at one of the large clinics, here in town, I heard nothing overnight. Let’s say, you were my patient. You go to the ER at midnight. I’m not going to hear anything about it until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Usually, since it’s within the same system, I’ll get a message on my computer. I’ll be able to pull up and see the ER notes, labs, and those kinds of things. My current clinic is not in that system so I don’t have access to those records, but I’ll often get a relatively brief, faxed report. I might get some of the labs, but I often don’t get the full, here’s exactly what was going on. I’ll have to request those records and that’s only if the patient tells them, I want to send over there.
Brian: In other words, not a lot of good communication, either way. Let’s say, you have you’re primary care physician and let’s say, you have diabetes. You’re having some sort of diabetic episode. Does the ER doctor generally have a channel to pull up your medical records prior to that visit? Any kind of connectivity there?
Dr. Edwards: In my current system, no.
Dr. Edwards: When I was in the clinic associated with the hospital, yeah, they had access to everything. They could pull it up, but you got to understand, that doctor has 16 patients and he’s only got a few minutes. He can’t …
Brian: It’s not really like, good information anyway, so …
Dr. Edwards: He’s got access to everything.
Brian: Yeah, but my point is …
Dr. Edwards: How much time do you have?
Brian: My point is, when I go to the ER clinic, does the doctor get any kind of medical background other than what I tell him?
Dr. Edwards: It depends on the system. It depends on the system.
Brian: Why don’t we have a unified system?
Dr. Edwards: That’s what they’re working on. They’re working on that through the electronic medical records and what’s called, meaningful use.
Dr. Edwards: Where they’re trying to standardize some things and create these documents that will transfer from one to the next and those kinds of things.
Brian: It’s important to know, when you walk into the ER clinic, chances are, that doctor has no access to your other medical records or any information about you as an individual, prior to that visit.
Dr. Edwards: Right. I think it’s important that, in the electronic medical record, I use an electronic medical record. I think there’s a portal and patients can log on to the portal and they can pull up their results. They can pull up their EKG. That’s actually saved a couple of my patients from having multiple issues because the patient was able to pull up, on their iPhone, their EKG. We’re changing systems, but my current system won’t let me do it, the previous system did. The new system will be able to. EKG, they were able to pull up.
Brian: EKG, labs, everything.
Dr. Edwards: ER doc was able to look at that and say, oh, okay, here, this finding that I see here …
Brian: Normal for you or whatever.
Dr. Edwards: Was there 2 years ago, that was, they’ve got something to compare it to.
Brian: That’s a big deal.
Dr. Edwards: It is. It’s a really big deal. When I have an EKG for comparison, it could save an admission. It could … Or it could say, there’s definitively something wrong here, that we need to intervene on that I may not have caught, had I not had that.
Brian: That’s a great take away from this teaser episode, that you need to have your medical record on file somewhere.
Dr. Edwards: Yeah.
Brian: Your clinic makes it available for people to have that through that portal, which is great. Which anybody could log into or you could have a doctor log into if they have the permission. You travel overseas, wherever, it’s like the old school medical tags that you used to have.
Dr. Edwards: Yeah.
Brian: My father still wears one.
Dr. Edwards: Yep.
Brian: They can scan or look at the number and it will pull up the medical record. That’s important for ER care.
Dr. Edwards: Things that you can do, have a current list of your medications and supplements.
Dr. Edwards: Have a current list of your allergies, medical conditions …
Brian: You’re kids too.
Dr. Edwards: Absolutely. Have that list available when they go in and say, do you have this, this, this. You can just hand them the list. That is so helpful. If that’s current, it is incredibly helpful. Have an appropriate expectation. Understand, if you go to the ER at 2 o’clock in the morning on Christmas Eve …
Brian: Not a good chance you’re getting in.
Dr. Edwards: You may be there a while. I’m not going to tell you not to go because I can’t, I don’t know.
Dr. Edwards: If you have a concern, then by all means go, just understand that it costs more to go to the ER then it does an urgent care, depending on the condition, you may need that. Have appropriate expectations, understand that it may take a long time.
Brian: Should you call before you say, should you call and say, how long is it going to be?
Dr. Edwards: I would say no because if it’s an issue that you need to be seen for, then why are you wasting time with a phone call.
Brian: Yeah, it’s not an emergency.
Dr. Edwards: Exactly.
Brian: Yeah, if you’re having to call 5 places …
Dr. Edwards: I say go. Something like, Johnnie has got an ear infection and can’t sleep. That’s not an emergency room condition, that’s an urgent care condition.
Brian: It’s a good thing I have your cell phone number.
Dr. Edwards: Yeah.
Brian: And you owe me, so why do I need to go to the emergency room?
Dr. Edwards: That’s true. That’s exactly right.
Brian: The point of the podcast is to just get good friends with a doctor, right?
Dr. Edwards: There you go.
Brian: That’s it. That’s our teaser. Hopefully this is helpful to people. I think it is. I think the big take away here is to understand what happens in an emergency room from a doctors perspective and the prioritization that you put on each patient. Be respectful of that because there is other people that are probably going through life threatening things if you have a broken bone, etc.
Dr. Edwards: Right.
Brian: Get some good pain medicine. The other take away is, make sure you have clear medical records. I think that’s very helpful, especially if you have a chronic disease, right?
Dr. Edwards: Yep, absolutely.
Brian: Thank you, Dr. Chad. We’ll see you on the next episode.
Dr. Edwards: See you soon.
Brian: All right.
Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards. Tune in next week, where we’ll be going Against the Grain.