MLB covers its bases by using EHRs in player trades

Electronic health records are doing more for sports organizations than just helping during treatment of athletes--Major League Baseball is using the systems to help teams determine whether they should finalize player trades, according to an article in

The article notes that the Cincinnati Reds' medical director is "the last line of defense" for ensuring that the team isn't making a bad trade or investment due to the health of the player being considered. While assessing players' health has always been part of the process, team physicians now can rely on the EHR in providing them with information regarding a player's health, past injuries and future prospects.

In addition, a team doctor can provide another team doctor access to a player's records, which will end after 24 hours. Free agents can also provide others with such electronic access. As a result, decisions can be made much more quickly--sometimes in minutes, rather than days.

Moreover, the EHRs also are "dizzyingly" complete:

"All available medical information on every player at every level of every organization is included, and go far beyond the scans taken when players first report to spring training each February," the article says.

EHRs are proving to be increasingly valuable to sports organizations, which are recognizing the benefits of easy, centralized access of records of athletes, who travel frequently. 

MLB first turned to EHRs in 2010; the National Football Leagure and the National Basketball Association both adopted EHRs in 2012. The US Olympic Committee implemented EHRs for its athletes in 2012, and the International Olympic Committee announced this year that it will use EHRs for the Rio Olympics not only to treat athletes, their family members, coaches, and visitors but also for population health studies.

To learn more:
- read the article