Epic MyChart app will put patients’ medical information at their fingertips
Remember the character Elaine from the hit TV show Seinfeld?
There’s an episode from the mid-1990s where Elaine wants to see her medical record because she thinks it flags her as “a difficult patient.” When her doctor refuses to share the file she resorts to stealing it, only to get caught and have it confiscated. In the end, she never gets access to her medical record. Jump to present day and the landscape for patients is vastly different.
Then and now
In June, Hamilton Health Sciences is introducing a new hospital information system called Epic. It’s fully electronic, with complete patient records available in one central place. Patients will have access to their medical information – including test results, lab results and much more – through the Epic MyChart app.
Epic replaces the current health information system, made up of multiple electronic and paper-based systems containing different parts of a patient’s record. It can be difficult for hospital staff, doctors and other health-care providers to pull together full patient records with the current system.
Using the Epic MyChart app, patients will also be able to read discharge summaries and consultation notes as well as an after-visit summary document which notes medication changes, orders placed during their hospital visit and any instructions or education provided during their visit.
Patients can share records with their doctors and caregivers, enter their own health information within a secure personal health record space, access health education materials and securely communicate with health-care providers.
Other features include virtual visits through video conferencing and the ability to upload pictures of, for example, a rash or wound, to help with assessing and monitoring care.
More reasons you’ll want to use the Epic MyChart app:
- eCheck-in: This allows patients to update information such as an address or contact info, medications, allergies, health coverage, and complete questionnaires prior to their HHS appointment. The purpose is to shorten the length of time a patient is at registration.
- Video Visits: Scheduled video visits with doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals already take place across HHS – MyChart will make it even easier, with all the info and access in one place, no other online tools required.
- Notes and Results: Patients can view test results and medical notes from their health-care team. See your medications, test results, lab results and medical notes. Test and lab results include CT scans, MRIs, x-rays, ultrasounds, echocardiograms, pathology results and lab results such as blood work and COVID testing.
- Questionnaires: Patients can complete questionnaires within MyChart. These questionnaires could be attached to eCheck-in for certain visits, or sent in messages from the care team to patients.
- Patient-Entered Flowsheets: With these forms, patients can enter medical data, like a blood pressure or blood sugar. The data can be trended over time and can be included in their chart. Abnormal readings can also trigger a message to the health-care provider to follow-up with the patient.
- Billing Summary and Details: Patients can pay outstanding balances via MyChart, and see details of previously paid bills.
Also available for patients of some clinics:
- Direct Scheduling: This allows certain clinic patients to schedule appointments with a health-care provider they already have a relationship with.
- Appointment Requests: Certain clinic patients can send appointment request messages to health-care providers they already have an existing relationship with. They can explain why they want an appointment and their preferred availability.
- Direct Messaging: This lets certain clinic patients send messages to their health-care providers regarding their medical care or test results. Patients must already have a pre-existing relationship with the person they are messaging in order to reach out this way. Patients will also be able to message about issues not directly related to their medical issue such as billing queries, compliments, complaints and web issues.