Open access medical records

Open access medicineFancy being a case report for medical scientists to ponder? If your answer to that question is yes, then you probably carry a donor card, regularly give blood, and have already willed your body to medical science. If the answer was no, then read on, the following may persuade you to if not donate your remains then perhaps make yourself a case in point.

Medical case reports serve a vital role in medicine. Like those howto and self-help feature articles one sees in popular lifestyle magazines, they focus entirely on an individual patient, but at a slightly more technical level. Case studies provide unique insights into the rare side effects of new medications, early warning indicators of potential new diseases, unexpected associations between diseases or symptoms, and much more. Indeed, it was through case reports in the medical literature, that the earliest information on AIDS, Lyme disease and toxic shock syndrome emerged.

In recent years, however, economic and ethical pressures have led research journals to publish fewer and fewer medical case reports. The main pressure seems to be that such papers are of limited interest when read in isolation and more problematic from the publishers’ point of view are unlikely to be highly cited. Many research journals tout citation counts as a major selling point both to authors and subscribers, so poor-selling papers are unattractive to the marketing team.

The end result, is that a vast wealth of unique scientific data is simply lost.

Michael Kidd, Professor and Head of the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Sydney, hopes to change all that. He is founder of the open access (OA) Journal of Medical Case Reports. The OA approach taken by this journal means that medical case reports can find an audience regardless of citation concerns. By utilizing the OA publishing model, interesting case reports can reach the medical profession where previously they would simply sink without trace. With open access to this information, doctors can easily compare symptoms and treatments between patients and researchers and can sift through thousands of reports to formulate hypotheses and search for patterns and correlations. Who knows when the next AIDS or Lyme disease will emerge. Case reports might provide the first hints from the unfortunate “early adopters.”

2 thoughts on “Open access medical records”

  1. Health care, everyone’s talking about it. But is anyone doing anything about it? The first step to heath care is your medical history and your medical records. Where are your medical records? What’s your medical history? Well now the first step to your heath care is now being taking care of with the MedeFile Card. My name is Alex Papas the creator and the developer of the prepaid phone card in the United States. I have just created a new medical breakthrough called The MedeFile Card. The MedeFile Card is a centralized, confidential electronic portfolio that gives you 24/7 access to your medical history So no more wasting time and filling out paperwork every time you go to see the doctor or go to the hospital. Imagine that you or your parent or child has suddenly become ill. They are in a place where no one knows them, their blood type, what medications they are on, or what allergies they have. Quick decisions could mean the difference between life and death. Each year the lack of accurate medical information or the wrong information takes a terrible toll. With MedeFile you can be better prepared with vital information should such an emergency arise. Your Medical records are going Green. I’m donating $100 million dollars in Medefile Cards to companies all over the world to give to there employees and there families. So No more talking about what we are doing about heath care we are doing something about it now! For more info go to or call Alex Papas at 954 729 8888

  2. Sciencebase is currently offering a free download – How to Effectively Safeguard Electronic Protected Health Information – that looks at how to use best practices and security solutions to improve overall security with reference to the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA):

    * Using a Framework for Security
    * Risk Assessment
    * The 3 P’s (Policy, Processes, Procedures)
    * Training and Awareness

    The white paper is free to qualified professionals.

Comments are closed.

If you learned something from Sciencebase, enjoyed a song, snap, or the science, please consider leaving a tip to cover costs. The site no longer runs Google ads or similar systems, so your visit is untainted.