Electronic health records

Technological advances have changed how diagnostic data can be captured (as digitized images), allowing closer inspection of problem areas as well as the sharing of medical data within a given hospital network. Though electronic medical records are becoming the norm, not all hospitals are on the same network (i.e., Partners HealthCare is an integrated health system that is limited to several major hospitals in Boston).

However, patients can obtain test results from one hospital on CD media and forward this data to a physician who is in another network. Some doctor’s offices will accept printed reports from other doctors or hospitals, which will be scanned in and added to the patient’s records. So, be sure to inquire about how tests and records are now being handled by your physician’s office or hospital.