With the assumption of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) being overturned or significantly weakened this Summer by the Supreme Court, I thought I’d take a look at ways to decrease the costs of health care coverage while providing better care to the patient. I could write chapter after chapter on options, but I wanted to find a single change that could tackle both items at once, so I decided to hit the internet to find something that could be implemented already (or may already be in existence but not widely used).
Doing some reading online, I came across an article written by an accident injury lawyer that gave me an idea. Their title was a question and answer for the solution. “Want to reduce health care costs? Then let’s focus on reducing medical errors.” In the adage of “Do it right the first time,” how can we ensure that errors are not made when it comes to treating patients?
The solution? Medical databases.
As we know, pharmacies already keep a database on what medications you have prescriptions for. This is how they know if there are risks of dangerous drug interactions based upon what medicine you are currently taking. In addition, your insurance company also has similar information of your medical conditions based upon your treatment records. So why not set up a connection between these databases so first responders and medical experts have the needed information upfront before treating you?
One of the biggest concerns has been over the access to your private medical information if the system is hacked, which is why I’m not proposing a centralized database but simply a portal to the different existing databases by your primary care providers and pharmacies. This way, the first responders and medical experts would need at least two pieces of information in order to access your data through the portal, providing added security.
While this system would require you to already have insurance coverage, as well as the care providers having the needed information to access your data through the portal, and chance to decrease medical errors when treating patients is a good step and should lower care costs in the long-term.
What do you think?