About a year ago, I was a second-year medical student preparing to start my third-year clinical rotations. It was a pretty exciting but terrifying time - I was also getting ready to take my first set of board exams. On top of long days of studying, I had to complete a lot of paperwork required by the school and the hospitals I would be rotating at. One of the biggest things I needed to get done before starting my rotations was ensuring I was up to date on my vaccinations and had my latest health records.
I quickly realized that getting all my old vaccine records was more difficult than I originally expected. Most of my previous vaccination records were with my old primary care physician (PCP) in my hometown, not with my current one. Luckily, my old PCP offered a patient portal I could use to see my old records. After a quick phone call to my old PCP's office to set up my online account, I could log in and see my old vaccine records. However, my current PCP used a completely different patient portal. So if I wanted to see my most recent blood work and my historical vaccine data at the same time, I needed to log in to two places at once.
A few months later, I moved to a new apartment closer to my new rotation site and had to again find another new PCP closer to me. Luckily, this new PCP I chose used the patient portal system that my original PCP did. However, despite using the same EMR, I was forced to create a new login for this portal as this new doctor was part of a different health system from my original PCP. I now had a total of three different logins to see my health data.
Throughout this process, I kept thinking: why was getting all my medical records in one place so tricky? There had to be an easier way.