by Dr. Martin H. Orens

As a board certified emergency room physician, I am passionate about helping parents see the importance of having an online medical file for their children. It’s hard enough keeping track of a child’s health records in normal circumstances. Have you asked yourself the question, “Will my family’s health records remain accessible in the wake of a natural disaster?”  As a parent, you need to take proactive actions in advance since medical offices and hospitals are just as prone to fire, flooding, tornadoes and earthquakes as any other structure. When the staff has been evacuated, the hard copies of medical records connected to hundreds of patients are, in most cases, left to the destructive forces of nature.

To prevent this loss of medical records, and have them readily available to any physician in an emergency, it makes perfect sense for the parent to have their child’s medical history available online, on a secure and reliable server.  For families who manage a host of sensitive medical issues and challenges, having an Electronic Health Record (EHR) they can rely on is critical in life or death situations. The comments from the Spooner family clearly illustrate the benefit of this new technology.

As a parent of two special needs children, I learned about the EHR through Children’s Rare Disease Network and Global Genes Project,” said Christy Spooner. “The idea of having my daughters’ entire health records and medical history stored in one place and having the ability to share that information with any doctor or hospital, really made me think seriously about the importance of this service.”

A patient-driven EHR combines a patient’s entire medical history into one source, which is available 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Regardless of where the patient is in a state of emergency, their medical records are safe and accessible thanks to digital technology. The EHR is a major step in empowering patients to take control of their healthcare by allowing patients to share their records with any doctor anytime.

“Anything that can help streamline processes is welcomed in my family—especially during an emergency,” said Christy Spooner.  “Having our children’s complicated medical records safely stored online means we do not have to explain our situation repeatedly when outside our normal doctor or hospital environments.”

In researching the many different electronic health record services available, one needs to take note that an optimum Electronic Health Record should:

  • Provide a quick review of the entire medical and surgical history, immunizations, specialist reports and prescription records.
  • Allow physicians to collaborate and contribute to a patient’s single comprehensive medical file.
  • Be secure via the use of encrypted files, firewalls, password strength requirements and back-up systems.
  • Give access to the user only with the patient’s permission, but be capable of emergency access under extreme situations.
  • Be easy for the patient to set up and securely maintain records, anytime and anywhere.
    • Allow patients or parents/guardians to share information with multiple healthcare providers.

About the Author: Dr. Martin H. Orens, president and founder of KARE Information Services (KIS) Electronic Health Records, is a board certified emergency room physician. Dr. Orens recognized the critical importance of readily accessible, comprehensive medical records. He envisioned a system in which patients would have the ability to obtain and provide their own valuable medical information at all times, anywhere in the world—a particularly indispensable service in times of urgent or emergency care. In 2011, Dr. Orens realized his vision by launching KIS, which offers a secure, yet easily accessible personal Electronic Health Records (EHR) system that empowers patients and helps health care providers to better serve them. For more information on KIS-EHR, visit