The Happy Hospitalist blog tells of his own experience in getting records from Walter Reed Hospital, and as you can see, it’s a long time.  He’s treating a patient who imagehad surgery there 3 years ago and needs the information to provide a treatment plan for the hospital.  This is very good work on his part as he can see what has been done and potentially avoid additional costs, and furthermore provide better care for the patient!  We talk a lot about additional tests and other medical costs that can be avoided and here’s the perfect example with the patient suffering acute renal failure, this is a big thing!  

I don’t think any treatment plans here can wait upon 21 days, so “Happy” has to do what he has to do, regardless of whether or not records are available.  Later down the road should the analysts backtrack and inquire to check out his treatment plans they should see a big red flag here – 21 days to get patient records.  It’s nice that we have doctors like Happy who take time out to tell us what goes on in the “real” world.   This certainly speaks very loud for electronic medical records and aggregation needs, so the information can be available when needed. 

I might add one other thought here from the patient side of things and that is a PHR (personal health record) populated with information from Walter Reed Hospital could have allowed some of this information for Happy to be available.  If you haven’t given much thought to getting one started, this is a good example of how it could be of help, and I’m sure Happy would have appreciated having the information available too, as the patient could have “shared” the information with him.  You can find the “Happy Hospitalist” in my blogroll listing. 

In short, we see a failure of communication here, and the importance of getting a PHR started, so that information can be shared with a physician who is caring for you, especially in this example with acute renal failure, a PHR with populated information could in fact be lifesaving. 

One short note, you can easily find all posts I have made referencing some of his great posts by using the second “instant” search box on the blog.  When the results come up (I searched for Happy Hospitalist) you can see the results in the screenshot below.  With the instant search of “blog roll” you can find posts from other bloggers easily right here on the Medical Quack and quickly read and link to their posts!  You can use the instant search to find articles from any of the bloggers I have listed in my blogroll.  We aggregate very well with blogs and we need hospitals and other healthcare facilities to do the same.  BD  


So I'm taking care of a pleasant 20 year old male admitted with acute renal failure and complications from a kidney surgery he obtained at the Walter Reed Military Hospital three years ago.  This guy was a former student at the Navel Academy when he was stricken with his unfortunate renal disease.  He told me his surgery was in 2007.

Nurse:  Dr Happy, we got in contact with the medical records at Walter Reed Military Hospital in Maryland.  They said the person in charge of getting records is gone today, but they will be back tomorrow (at 1pm in the afternoon EST).  But they also said that it could take up to 21 days to get the records.

Happy:  21 days?  Are you freakin' kidding me?

Nurse:  No.  They said they used to tell people it could be three days.  Then it was seven days.  Now they just tell everyone it could take up to 21 days to get medical records faxed.

What an embarrassment to our military men and women of this country.  You would think, after their incredible failures over the last several years, someone in command would make the appropriate changes. at Walter Reed Military Hospital.     Obama talks of ridding the waste and inefficiency from Medicare  National Bank.  Look in your backyard Mr Marlboro Man.   What an embarrassment to our Commander in Chief.

I can't imagine for even a second that Happy's hospital would tell anyone, let alone another acute care hospital, that it could take three weeks to get necessary records to make medical decision for patients.   I can't even imagine what it's like to be a hospitalist in that hospital.

Walter Reed Military Hospital: "You Can Expect Your Medical Records in 21 Days"


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