Conversion to electronic medical records going slowly

The Tampa Tribune: By MARY SHEDDEN, Published: March 25, 2012.

TAMPA –Michelle Cyr is still piecing it all together.

It was the weekend before Christmas and her vision suddenly went blurry; her side grew numb. The 32-year-old was scared to death.

She faced a whirlwind of doctors, tests and questions at St. Petersburg’s Bayfront Medical Center. In less than 24 hours, five physicians came and went, ordering tests and jotting notes.

Most suspected that the blurred vision and numbness were signs of a potential stroke, but she was urged to go home and to control her blood pressure. She thought gathering lab results and notes from the one-day ordeal — and putting it on a flash drive — would provide peace of mind.

But the quest was anything but soothing. Cyr spent three chaotic weeks requesting documents by phone and retrieving papers and CD-ROMs from each physician.

“It was difficult to maintain an average blood pressure level,” Cyr said of the experience that resulted in a thick binder she lugs to and from appointments. “It definitely was not helping my stress level at all.” Read More