One of the projects that I have been working on for part of my internship is to cipher through hundreds of physician’s notes, health surveys, and patient records to compile data sets. These data sets will eventually be given to a biostatistician to run statistical analysis. This information will then be presented in multiple segments or in its entirety as journal articles. Although the monotony of this task can become painstakingly boring, I have come to realize a few things as a result of this work. The first is search engines that allow one to find data are often the difference between usable and unusable data. There is plentiful data recorded on a variety of topics, but often as a result of it being inaccessible the data proves to be of no use. In a world with ever-increasing data entry and information collection, finding a mechanism to make this data attainable and organized is of the utmost importance.
Another aspect of this assignment has also given me a chance to gain a glimpse in the medical care of hundreds of patients. It seems that too often that patients bounce around healthcare providers who at the end of the day do not provide the best care possible as a result of miss-information and losing patient records through translation. It seems a gargantuan task for a physician to dig through patient records from their previous physicians at different hospitals and notes from physicians at the current hospital, if one is lucky to have all the notes actually present, to uncover the patient’s full medical history in a short period of time as the next patient in the clinic has probably already arrived. Although, this toll on a physician is unfortunate, the true fault in the current system are the preventable errors made through the transference of information. It is much like playing a game of telephone, except the stakes are often life or death. I would certainly find great fear if I were the patient being treated. These issues have been ever-present in our healthcare system. The solution in the business of healthcare is simple, make patient well-being financially beneficial and time and investment will be given out in plenty to address this issue. At the end of the day it is the patient who suffers the flaws of the system. If it is patient who should be the center of the system, then it is unequivocally clear that this issue is one we must work to address for the betterment of the patient.