Most current electronic medical record systems now allow patients to access parts of their medical records online. Patient’s can now view laboratory results, pathology reports, visit notes, and more by logging into an “online patient portal”. This is in response to new Federal guidelines requiring such patient access for providers wishing to participate in the Federal EHR (electronic health record) incentive program.
Where systems currently fall short is the inability for individual medical record systems to communicate with other systems–i.e. your Dermatologist’s records cannot be sent to your Internist electronically in most instances. As of now, there appears to be no planned solution to this problem as several questions must be answered before this can happen including: (1) who will bear the cost for the electronic bridges between systems, (2) who will be responsible for standardizing medical information