The evolution of electronic health records (or, more specifically, the data they house) pairs well—and not so coincidentally—with the growth of urgent care over the past decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sees electronic data collection as having greater application and significance than simply allowing patient histories to be readily accessible, though. The CDC is working out the optimal way to foster sharing of healthcare data across literal borders to identify—and, hopefully, prevent—pandemics like Ebola or Zika before they reach crisis state. While diving into a patient’s history when all that’s needed is assessment of a potential respiratory infection would not be practical—or cost-effective—during an urgent care visit, the ongoing building of data sets from multiple settings will provide a clearer picture of both an individual patient’s health profile and trends that can be instrumental in managing population health.
Urgent Care Data Will Contribute to Global Disease Tracking