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Problems With The Patient Portal

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It is called a patient portal. It is a government requirement for doctors and hospitals to distribute records and data from hospital admissions for patients.

It sounds good but I am afraid we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on transferring data but not as much on patient education. For instance, it is great to know your hemoglobin a1c number but, without knowledge that this lab test can tell you if you are at greater risk for heart disease and other complications of diabetes, there is little value.

The other problem is, do you want to hear about a cancer diagnosis before you talk with a physician and have psychological support?  

This is a big issue and physicians on the front lines, as well as the patients it will effect, need to have their voices heard.