NFL working to put player medical records online


Eight NFL teams will participate in a pilot program this year which would put a player’s entire medical record at a doctor’s fingertips on the sideline, though there are still plenty of questions to be answered.

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the plan could put everything from X-rays to baseline concussion tests onto handheld computers, and information could eventually be moved from team to team.

The Steelers, Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Patriots, Giants, Jets and 49ers will participate in the program, which would move information through the internet into each player’s electronic medical record.

“Let’s say he starts out with the Rams, and then he’s either cut or traded or leaves as a free agent, goes to the Denver Broncos, then the information will be portable,” said Matthew Matava, Rams team physician and president of the NFL Physicians Society. “The Denver doctors will then have any information that was accrued while he was in St. Louis. Like any other electronic medical record, it will be portable with the player and therefore very accurate.”

The last collective bargaining agreement provided for such a system, though there are concerns among some players, agents and the NFLPA about how information would be distributed, and whether it could be used against players eventually.

The NFLPA didn’t respond to requests for comment, and the league said they’re still discussing with the union how to handle the technology.

“It is a work in progress,” the league said in a statement. “We will not use the EMR to share records between teams until after the pilot stage of the program.”

It sounds like a great idea. While players have a general sense of their own histories (or should), having their charts available to a new staff when they change teams should ultimately be a good thing for them.

But most agree that HGH testing is a good idea as well, and the league and union haven’t figured out how to implement that, either.

23 responses to “NFL working to put player medical records online

  1. This system is the future standard of med records. It’s already in place @ some teaching hospitals. A patient’s med records cam be accessed by other doctors w/in the hospital system & the patient themself.

  2. It’s inevitable and not just for NFL players, pretty much everyone’s records will be accessible like that.

  3. How about putting a RFID chip under the skin with all the medical information. Heck, do it at birth. The state will soon scan own everyone.

  4. Good program, I wouldn’t want a FA to come to my team, eating up cap space that’s hiding an injury. Wonder if the program was in place before the offseason if Ed Reed would’ve still been signed with the Texans.

  5. Ain’t buying it…neither the Donkeys nor the Gaytriots would ever try to help any organization other than themselves.

  6. Love that picture by the way. Last year against Cincy, in the game we knocked your playoff dreams out! And considering you’ll have 6-7 wins. That’ll be the last we’ll be hearing from you for a while!!!!

  7. That is a very disturbing and dangerous trend and all in the name of convenience. The negatives far outweigh the positives. Digital records are great in some regards but I wouldn’t want medical records on any machine with internet access.

  8. It’s a requirement by 2015 for physicians to move to digital records. Any that do not have to take a 1% Medicare reimbursement penalty. That penalty goes up 1% a year and can go all the way up to 95% later on. Once we hit that point the world will have a lot less paperwork to deal with. It’s even more exciting for guys like me that are in the insurance industry, yay!

  9. Of course medical records are moving online. When the government takes over healthcare, how else can they decide if your doctor is allowed to treat your grandma or just tell her to “take the pill”.

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