Firm Offers Easier Route to Medical Records

Article excerpt

Lack of access to medical records in emergency situations at odd hours led to a company devoted to storing medical records that can be obtained at any hour on any day.

Idea for establishing the medical records system was developed by Dr. Carl Spengler, an emergency room physician at University Hospital in Oklahoma City, and Bob Williamson, a registered nurse who works with him.

"We developed this because we have stood in the emergency room at 9 p.m. and tried to get a record on someone who is about to die and it takes literally hours to get it. We thought there had to be a better way to do this," Williamson said.

That idea led to the founding of Emergency Medical Records Access Inc., in November. It started collecting medical records of individuals Jan. 20 at an office at 1200 N. Walker Ave. It was merged with Home Care Options, which has offices at the same address, a week later to obtain financial support. Home Care Options also has enrolled 200 employees of a subsidiary company who travel providing home care services to its clients, he said.

The company is set to begin soliciting medical record storage business nationwide by about March 1, Williamson said.

President of Emergency Medical Records Access is K. Kay Spengler, wife of the founding physician, who is chief executive officer. Williamson is vice president.

The company also has six other employees, Kay Spengler said.

Medical records are collected at the direction of the individual from his doctors and stored in closed computerized files that have no outside computer access. The individual then carries an identification card informing medical emergency personnel how to obtain an immediate fax copy of medical records from Emergency Medical Records Access, Williamson said.

The records transfer system has been set up to use fax machines because they are commonly available in hospitals and emergency rooms, Williamson said.

Some other records systems use computer chip cards that can only be read on special machines not commonly available, he said.

Normal records stored cover the past five years accumulation from doctors and hospitals from whom the individual has had treatment, unless the individual has a congenital or other lingering problem that also would be noted. Personal messages to emergency personnel such as, "call a priest in case of life-threatening emergency," also may be added to the records, Williamson said.

The individual is charged $25 a year for storage of medical records and the emergency service. …