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3525 Prytania St, Suite 614 - New Orleans, LA 70115 - 504-891-8454

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"You have turned my life around"
 

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle


I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian


Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace

 


How to Get Your Medical Records

Jean Vaughn has a problem with her bladder. Several months ago she had an electronic stimulator inserted into her back to help her with bladder control. On August 29 she evacuates the city and returns to contact her physician to adjust her stimulator. Her physician cannot be located and the vendor from the company that manufactures the device is nowhere to be found. What is she to do when she doesn't know what to do?

Katrina has come and gone and decimated the city with debris, devastation, and horrendous odors. Our citizens have been scattered throughout every state in the nation and the medical community has also been shattered. The medical schools are closed, hospitals are closed or functioning at a reduced capacity, allied health professionals are gone, and doctors have lost their practices. There are an estimated 6000 physicians who have been displaced by Katrina which means many thousands of patients who don't have access to their medical records. Patients cannot locate their physicians, physicians cannot get access to hospital records or their records were destroyed in the hurricane, and doctors cannot put their patients into hospitals. What is one to do when you don't know what to do?

These are just some of the health issues that are facing the citizens of this community. Many cannot find their physicians, cannot access their medical records, and cannot get admitted to hospitals for acute care.

Unfortunately portable medical records have not reached a critical mass where most of the patients have access to their medical records and can take them wherever they go. However, a few medical practices have an electronic medical record (EMR) which means they have access to your medical record if they have access to a computer. After the storm, there were dozens of patients who tried to reach me and went to my website (www.neilbaum.com), obtained my E Mail address and contacted me about their medical concerns. I had evacuated to another state, did not have a license to practice in the state, and no physical place to see my patients outside of my office. Because I had access to many of their health records, I was able to know their medications, allergies, and all their lab tests. As a result, I was able to make medical decisions without having to see them face to face or to them exam. With the EMR, I was able to call in prescriptions for patients, order lab tests, and give them reports of tests that were done in my office before the hurricane. In some cases I was able to call physicians where they had evacuated and speak to a local physician and transfer their medical care until both the patient and myself returned to New Orleans. However, the best use of the EMR was to give patients the reassurance that they still had a physician that they could reach and that they weren't medically abandoned.

Now what should the Jean Vaughn's of the region do, who do not have access to their physicians and their medical records? Patients should try to locate their physician using the parish and state medical societies. Both Orleans Parish (www.opms.org) and the Louisiana Medical Societies (www.lsms.org) have a database of the locations of the regions physicians after the storm. They will know which physicians' offices are open, closed or have relocated to another community. Anyone who cannot find their physician, should log onto either of these two websites and this will afford them an opportunity to locate their physician. This will often be very helpful even if the physician does not have access to your medical records.

If you are unable to locate your medical records, use this as an opportunity to rebuild your own medical record from your own records and even your memory. There are Internet sites, such as www.iHealthRecord.com, where you can input your personal medical information such as allergies, previous surgeries, chronic conditions and the drugs you are currently taking onto a smart card. Now, if you are ever hit by a hurricane again and have to evacuate the city, this card could save your life. Also these websites let you manage your medical record on a continuous basis. You can gather and store information and then share it with ANY physician who is part of the program. Physician can use their office computers to enter all the data that they once wrote out by hand, and have access to your information anytime and any place where they have a computer or even a laptop with an Internet connection.

In the future, you will be able to carry a thumb drive, which is a small disk storage device that can be plugged into any computer, wherever you go. With the thumb drive, patients can get the results of physicals and EKGs and other data loaded onto the thumb drive and can take it with them and transport their medical records to any place that you authorize to plug in your thumb drive. This approach meets the guidelines of the recent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Using this new technology your records can be updated on visits to your primary care doctor and beamed to specialists or other doctors.

So Katrina may have delivered a blow to our city and our medical infrastructure but it didn't knock out the spirit of the citizens of this fine community. If you don't know what to do about your medical records and you can't locate your physician, use a few of the resources that are available to nearly all of us and plan for the future so you are never left without access to your records. In the future, don't leave home without themÂ….that is your medical records!