Epic bike fail and the impact of mobility on healthcare providers

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It surprised me how much time I had to think about what was happening as I flew over the handlebars. Yup, I've left my bike behind. Yup, that hard ground is coming up fast. Yup, there goes my cell phone flying out of my pocket. I hope it survives, I'm going to need to call for help.

No major damage to the phone. No major damage to me. I called a friend for a ride. I did require a few visits to my doctor to address some swelling and have fluid drained from a left hip contusion, but overall I was in good shape.

Long ago but not forgotten

Fast forward two years later. I just started working at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company and needed to get a physical for my healthcare benefits. I called my doctor for an appointment, but my doctor wasn't available for several weeks. I gladly accepted an appointment with the other doctor in the small practice.

As she walked into the exam room, I noticed two things. Although she was the second doctor in the practice, I didn't think I had ever seen her. She also was carrying a laptop, which I hadn't seen anyone in the practice use before. As I sat on the exam table, she was reviewing my vitals and started asking me—with some familiarity—about the crash two years prior and how my left hip was feeling.

Even though she had never seen my face before, the important parts of my health history were right there on her laptop. The physician practice had moved to an electronic health record system since I had last been there. The most immediate impact of that visit was the ability of a doctor I had never seen to be very familiar with my health situation. She had the tools right in her hands, right in the exam room—and that made me immediately comfortable with a new doctor.

Hospitals and healthcare systems are investing in Electronic Health Records (EHR) at a rapid pace.  Doctors and nurses have more information than ever before.   Accessing EHRs wherever and whenever they need to provide care results in faster diagnoses, more accurate diagnoses, and more accurate treatment. All of those positivity affects patient outcomes, which of course, is what today's healthcare is all about.