Docs lack access to psychiatric records

Bernie Monegain reports:

Medical centers that elect to keep psychiatric files private and separate from the rest of a person’s medical record may be doing their patients a disservice, a Johns Hopkins study concludes.

In a survey of psychiatry departments at 18 of the top American hospitals as ranked by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in 2007, a Johns Hopkins team learned that fewer than half of the hospitals had all inpatient psychiatric records in their electronic medical record (EMR) systems and that fewer than 25 percent gave non-psychiatrists full access to those records.

Researchers say, psychiatric patients were 40 percent less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within the first month after discharge in institutions that provided full access to those medical records.

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