Medical professionals have long been asking why healthcare systems can’t simply consolidate a patient’s complete health history into an easily searchable format, lamenting the fact that medical records are often lengthy and difficult to read.
As oncologist Lincoln Nadauld stated in a recent Ciitizen blog post: “I don’t always need all 143 pages of data” when treating a patient, “and I certainly don’t want to spend my precious time with patients digging through their documents.” He wants easy access to specific records like the pathology report, CT scans, and bloodwork, so that he can focus his attention on developing a treatment plan, not searching through endless pages on a PDF file for the pieces of relevant information.
If you’re thinking 143 pages is an exaggeration, it isn’t. As most of the healthcare industry already knows, a hospital’s electronic health records (EHR) system is designed to help organize patient billing, not streamline patient information. That means, in order to get to the important bits of data, doctors often have to skim through countless pages of irrelevant text, frustrating both themselves and their patients in the process. In fact, it’s become so problematic that a series of online memes have taken the subject to task:
The impetus to create Ciitizen’s easy sharing platform was born out of this frustration, and our platform was specifically designed to ease the burden on both patients and doctors when searching for information. Ciitizen automatically scans and organizes patient health records into a user profile that allows for digital access on the go. The “Cancer Summary” tab breaks down the most important information into categories like clinical stage, tumor size and metastases; all of which oncologists need quick access to.
In the above screenshot, you can see how Ciitizen not only organizes the information into data type, it expands to show the document from which the data was pulled, giving any potential caregiver a quick and accurate summary. Instead of digging through 143 page PDFs, Ciitizen helps oncologists quickly find the information they need to formulate a treatment plan and spend the time they have with each patient more effectively. For visits done via telemedicine, patients can hit the “Share” button located just above the document in the top right corner and easily share a copy with any care provider of their choosing.
When hospitals provide electronic copies of health records for patients who want access to their data, it often comes on CD-ROM (as if anyone still has one of those) or it comes as part of a lengthy PDF file that requires a provider to read through hundreds of pages to find the relevant information. By signing up for a Ciitizen profile, those files can be stored, organized, and made easily shareable for patients in search of care and the doctors who want to give it to them.