New Passport for Healthcare -- On Your Key Chain

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Emergency Physician creates a personal, portable and universal medical record: the Medical Passport. It is software on a USB flash drive (fits easily on your key chain) that helps people gather, organize and communicate their medical information (allergies, medications etc.) and advance directives. The software automatically runs when the device is plugged into any computer running Windows, displaying the information to all healthcare providers.

Emergency Physician has created a personal, portable and universal medical record: the Medical Passport.

The Medical Passport was designed by an Emergency Physician and is sold by Essential Medical. It is software, on a USB flash drive (an electronic storage stick that fits easily on your key chain), that helps individuals gather, organize and communicate personal medical information. It also makes it easy to write advance directives (Living Will). The software automatically runs when the Medical Passport is plugged into any computer running Windows (nearly all health care facilities use Microsoft Windows).

The Medical Passport was designed for everyone – even people with minimal computer skills – to be used everywhere. Just plug the Medical Passport into a USB port on any Windows computer and the program begins. The owner enters their name and a password to open the software and can then enter/edit their personal medical information and write their advance directives. A physician can also open the software but without the password the information is view only.

The information contained in the Medical Passport is divided into two areas: Medical Information and Advance Directives. The Medical Information includes emergency contacts, insurance numbers, allergies, medications and previous medical and surgical problems. Imbedded in the software are dictionaries that can be used to easily select medications, allergies and even medical problems. Once the information is entered, the Medical Passport is removed from the USB port and attached to a key chain. Any doctor or emergency department can plug the Medical Passport into their computer and immediately see the medical history, allergies, medications and advance directives. Having this information always available to physicians, means medical care is quicker and safer. It can even save lives by avoiding dangerous medication or treatment errors.

The other half of the Medical Passport contains a program called Essential Choices. Essential Choices was developed to help people easily complete and carry their advance directives. Everyone needs advance directives (i.e. Terri Schiavo) but the complicated forms deter people from completing them. Essential Choices simplifies the process into 6 steps. Within the 6-steps the medical and legal terms can be “clicked” on to display “pop-up” explanations and photos (e.g. “Ventilator” is linked to a picture of a person on a breathing machine with explanation of what it is and when/why it is used.) The advance directives can be printed, but are also stored on the Medical Passport so they can also be displayed at any hospital.

In this era of amazing medical technology it’s surprising that there hasn’t been one, universal medical record used by all facilities and all caregivers. Unfortunately, since healthcare is provided by a variety of physicians at different locations, an individual’s medical record could be in many places and formats. Care at the primary physician might be recorded on a paper chart in their office. The emergency physician’s chart could be paper, template or even an electronic chart. If a patient is in the hospital, the doctor dictates a chart and that will be stored at the hospital. The result is a disjointed, and difficult to find record of healthcare. The only common denominator in all of these different records of care is the patient. Medical Passport puts the medical history and advance directives in one place, ready for use at any healthcare facility because it doesn’t have to be found or collected – it’s with the patient.


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Shaun Gogarty, MD
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