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26 Years Later: Carm Huntress' Inspiration Behind Credo Health

My family got our first computer when I was 13 years old. It was an IBM PS2 with a 56K modem and so little memory you had to save files to floppy disks. Its printer took the special paper with perforated dots on the margins that you had to carefully tear away from your documents. Its most amazing feature was its color screen and word processing capability. My siblings and I used it to play games and write papers for school. 

My mother used it to try and save her life.

At the time my mother was traveling to the best hospitals she could find to get treatment for her cancer. She used the PS2 to type up summaries of her medical records. She became her own healthcare expert and spent hours organizing copies of all her treatments, tests and pathology reports. She carried this stack of paper along with x-rays to every appointment in an oversized handbag. She understood that being able to provide her documents whenever they were needed might determine the speed and quality of her care.

The first page of the records was an overall summary of the nearly fifty pages of records. She wanted her doctors to have a clear and concise picture of her medical situation. At the top of this summary she photocopied a Christmas picture of herself with her three children.

She also wanted her doctors to have a clear and concise picture of why she needed to live.

I still have this stack of my Mom’s old medical records which she meticulously updated just months before she died in 1996. Despite her efforts and excellent care, the cancer still took her from us. When I look at her records I remember that difficult time and also remember a woman who was full of joy and love and determination to continue being our Mom all the way to the end of her life.

An Industry Stuck in the Past

As I write this, it’s 26 years later. Technology has evolved and advanced in ways we couldn’t even imagine since perforated printer paper and floppy disks and the awe of color screens. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the way we handle medical records.

Patients today still carry around their paper records like my Mom did. We still fax (yes, fax!) over nine billion pages of medical records annually and spend $126 billion managing those faxes and paper records. Three out of every ten diagnostic tests have to be repeated because caregivers can’t find previous patient records. Healthcare providers are wasting precious time and resources managing records instead of using their skills to actually provide care to patients. 

My mom's story motivates me every day, and I know that her experience is not unique. I've started Credo to provide every person access to complete and current digital medical records that they can share with any provider they choose. This is possible if we put our collective minds together, and I hope you'll join us on our mission at Credo to end chart chasing once and for all.

If you're interested in learning more about what we are doing at Credo, get in touch.

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