At this point in the evolution of the EMR, patient portals and specifically MyChart is not a foreign term to the healthcare IT world. MyChart was a giant leap forward in giving providers and patients a powerful tool that not only enhanced communication, but took strides in giving the patient an active role in their care. As MyChart matures, this patient portal shifts beyond simply messaging a provider, reviewing test results or obtaining medication refills. Self-scheduling, self-reporting, virtual visits and online bill paying are just a few ways that MyChart provides flexibility in healthcare to patients and organizations alike. Many organizations even while meeting Meaningful Use Stage 1 measures have yet to explore these and other potentially valuable tools.
With Epic’s 2012 and 2014 versions, MyChart continues to cultivate a stronger partnership between provider and patient, encouraging patient participation in their healthcare. An enhanced degree of interaction through your organizations utilization of tools such as questionnaires, custom histories, and flowsheets can facilitate this, allowing patients to actively enter and track data. These same tools also can give your providers a more complete picture of the patient’s history, allow for easier tracking of chronic conditions, and recovery paths.
With Meaningful Use Stage II on the horizon MyChart has improved the ability to achieve published measures mandating that 50% of all unique patients are provided online access to their health information and that 5% of those patients both utilize it and communicate with their provider via secure electronic messaging. The combination of improvements to both the user interface and new sign-up options expand your organizations ability to engage patients.
Other exciting changes that come with Epic’s 2014 version are enhancements to already existing mobile platforms on Apple and Android products. Also integration with Fitbit and Withings, home-monitor devices, that allow the patient to upload blood pressure, weight, pulse readings and pedometer readings directly to MyChart. Epic also enhanced dashboard reporting and a framework for creating custom metrics to allow your organization more readily available key performance indicators and trends with both your clinical and patient users.
An overview of recent updates to consider for 2014:
Meaningful Use – Stage II
Redesigned User Interface
Dashboards and Custom Metrics
Home-Monitoring Device Integration
Auto-Wait List for Scheduling