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Modern Technology Helps The
Tradition of "Snow Birds"
By Jude Roberts, Staff Writer
(Page 3 of 3)

Snowbirds can risk receiving inaccurate treatment in an emergency because their personal medical information is not available or up-to-date. Thanks to computer technology and the art of databasing, several “online” services offer a way for all medical records and insurance information to be easily accessed by any doctor’s office or hospital in the country, and in time, through out the world. Some of these companies have been around for several years and are quite experienced at handling sensitive, confidential information. One must consider all the different places their medical chart could be – in the primary care physician’s office, a specialist’s office, hospitals, clinics – all these places have various filing systems, and to “quickly” locate a file can be nearly impossible. That’s why online medical filing services are gaining in popularity, because all needed medical and insurance information is kept in one, single database – a very similar concept to what the government has done in updating the Medicare/Medicaid databases. A reason as simple as a doctor’s office being closed can hamper the ability to obtain vital medical information, but with online accessibility, there is no “closing” time, no “weekend”, and no “vacations.” A patient can even access their own medical chart online, helping to remove the cloak of mystery that seems to surround most medical records. This type of modern technology not only helps “snow birds,” but also is helpful for business travelers, vacationers, and exchange students.

So the “age of technology” meets the traditions of a time-honored, right-of-passage – the winter migration of the “snow bird.” Not only has the computer helped to uphold this tradition, but the improvements made in obtaining vital medical information on both the government and local levels, have helped to make the experience that much safer, and also helps in easing the worries of loved ones left up north.

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