Harlan doctor tells White House summit about his changeover to electronic health records

Dr. Carl Smith Jr.

Almost a decade ago, Dr. Carl Smith Jr. did something that many health care providers across America are still struggling to do: He implemented electronic health records that can be assessed from anywhere in the United States during an emergency.

Because the process is expensive, and Smith works in rural, isolated Harlan County, he earned a trip to Washington, D.C. for this year’s White House Health IT Town Hall meeting. The assembly was gathered to discuss progress and barriers on the road toward a national health IT system, reports Nola Sizemore of the Harlan Daily Enterprise.

At the meeting, senior White House officials and Department of Health and Human Services staff asked him about how he was able to accomplish the change from paper records. Smith, a pediatrician, explained how the system works: “Because of this technology, we can send the patient’s prescription electronically by secure email to pharmacies. We can check medical histories, what diseases or medical conditions are trending in the area, and I can voice activate details of the patient’s visit into their record. We can also give patients clinical summaries when they leave our office. We have proved to national governing bodies we can and are doing this.”

Smith added that with the use of electronic records, doctors will be able to access your medical history to see what medications you take, allergies and other pertinent information about your health should you be in an auto accident or suffer injury anywhere in the United States. He said this will especially be helpful if the patient were unable to provide information.(Read more)

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