This summer the U.S. Olympic team will for the first time use electronic health records, replacing the enormous piles of paper that were previously used to document the athletes’ medical care. Time reports:
With the electronic records, anyone caring for an Olympic athlete, from a trainer to a physical therapist to a physician treating an emergency injury, can get a quick look at the athlete’s medical history at a glance, and update it with the latest developments. “Every single encounter with a health care provider — whether it’s to provide an ice pack or a massage, chiropractic care or have their ankle taped — all of that should be recorded,” says Moreau. Each athlete decides what information goes into his file, and is assigned a point-of-care ombudsman, who coordinates the incoming data. Every piece of new information that the athlete adds to the record, such as an X-ray or an MRI or a blood test or physical, is sent to the coordinating physician. With the average Olympian seeing eight different doctors at any one time, that’s a huge time saver.
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