Keep track of your child’s health care with MyChart
Eight-year-old Maksim (Maks) is a curious, energetic child. He also has Pfeiffer syndrome, which affects the growth of his skull. He had 23 surgeries before his fifth birthday and has ongoing medical care at multiple hospitals.
Maks is a “complex care” patient, meaning he is cared for by many hospital specialties for a variety of reasons. When Maks was born, he spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit at McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH). He uses a tracheotomy tube to help him breathe. He also has autism. He has been cared for by the Ear, Nose and Throat clinic, Neurosurgery, and Plastic Surgery, among other specialties.
It’s a lot for his family to stay on top of.
Keeping track of appointments
“The complex care team does a great job of coordinating all the different specialties, but even with the team it’s hard to keep track,” says Maks’ mother, Melissa Petrilli.
“I plan to tell all the families I know about MyChart. It’s really unbelievable and really simplifies things.”
She’s looking forward to using a new online tool called MyChart at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), including MCH, to help manage all of Maks’ care. The family already uses the tool for Maks’ appointments at SickKids hospital in Toronto.
In June, HHS will introduce MyChart, a patient portal that is a key part of HHS’ new hospital information system, Epic. MyChart is a free, secure, online tool that gives patients easy access to their HHS health record anytime, from anywhere. Patients can securely view test results, enter personal health information, and attend video visits.
Proxy access for parents
An important feature of MyChart is proxy access. “Proxy” is the authority to represent someone else. In MyChart, proxy access means granting another person access to view your health information, such as a loved one or guardian. This is an especially important feature for parents and caregivers of MCH patients.
Petrilli says a key benefit of MyChart is being able to keep track of appointments and what she and Maks need to do to prepare for them.
“It’s like your agenda,” she says, “having all your appointments in one spot so you don’t have to organize it.”
She also appreciates having test results from CT scans and MRIs at her fingertips, seeing Maks’ medication list, and having the after visit summaries from appointments available. “Since my husband is not able to attend appointments, he can see everything at a glance on my phone,” she says.
How it works
In order to see a child’s chart, a caregiver would make a MyChart account for themselves, even if they have never been an HHS patient. This would allow the caregiver to see their child’s medical information until they reach 12 years old once they have been verified.
“It’s like your agenda.”
After the age of 12, a child can make their own account and give consent for their caregiver to have proxy access, or a parent or caregiver can remain the primary account holder. At 16 years old, the consent given at age 12 expires and the chart is considered an adult chart. At this point, teens and adults can give proxy access to others within the tool should they choose to.
If a patient is 12-16 years old and wants to have their parent as a proxy, there will be an adolescent attestation form that the child will sign to allow the parent to have access. They can also indicate if the parent should have lower level of access.
People will get reminders six months and two months before a child’s twelfth and sixteenth birthdays to remind them about changes coming up in the system and prompt them to start talking about what they want to do.
There will be some exceptions for children who will never have the capacity to have their own account, in which case proxy access will be able to be continued indefinitely.
On the other hand, for children younger than 12 who are highly engaged in their own healthcare, there may be an opportunity to have their own MyChart account. If this describes your situation, speak to your healthcare provider.
Being “extra involved” in your child’s health care
“I like to be extra involved in everything,” says Petrilli. With MyChart’s proxy access, parents and caregivers can stay informed, organized, and involved.
“I plan to tell all the families I know about MyChart. It’s really unbelievable and really simplifies things,” says Petrilli.
Stay tuned for the launch of MyChart by Epic this June.