Invented around 2,000 years ago, paper is undoubtedly one of the most significant contributors to today’s civilisation. Throughout history, artists, business people, philosophers, teachers, and rulers have recorded their thoughts, emotions, and life’s work on paper. It was this technology that made documenting, compiling, sharing, and compounding knowledge from different times and lands possible.
However, paper is simply a medium. The rise of civilisation wasn’t dependent on how well human beings use paper but rather on how well we documented history. And just as rock and cave drawings as a means of recording history were replaced by papyrus sometime in 100 AD, so too will the time come for paper to become obsolete.
In the healthcare industry, documentation plays one of the essential roles next to providing treatment. The study of medicine would be nowhere near what it is today if not for the leagues of doctors who recorded their observations and discoveries with pen and paper. Countless lives would be lost if progress notes or emergency treatment documentation didn’t exist. However, when information takes a physical form, it becomes vulnerable to being compromised and miscommunicated.
Besides papercuts, the potential dangers of paper records in the medical field can quickly snowball into tragedies not only in loss of life but in societal setbacks as well. Physicians are at risk of providing inappropriate care to patients due to poor readability of medical information on paper documents, whether handwritten or printed. Medical papers put together in storage rooms are at risk of being partially or entirely lost to fires and other natural disasters. Larger institutions lose thousands of dollars per physician due to costs and inefficiencies that lead to poor patient experience that may end with tragedy.
The development of Electronic Health Records (EHR, used interchangeably with EMR – Electronic Medical Records) began to address these issues and provide medical care providers with a system that compiles patient information and progress notes. This capability, especially crucial for emergency medical response teams, has allowed healthcare professionals to provide the correct treatment for patients in critical conditions or with chronic illnesses. Aside from medical professionals, the users themselves have ownership of their data and can take a much better proactive approach in managing their health data.
Q-Link is such a system that provides users with as much control over their data as possible, allowing them to share or protect their information at their fingertips. With the technology and solutions crafted today, a quick, secure, and individually controlled way for users to prove and validate their medical data at the tap of the screen helps individuals and health institutions implement a trusted chain.