Today’s consumers live in an “on-demand” world. A benefit coming from this societal shift to self-service is unique in the context of healthcare, where increased patient engagement can correlate with improved patient satisfaction. One way in which we can be more engaged in our healthcare is by enjoying the benefits of mobile applications for smartphones – staying connected and able to act wherever we go.
Many companies are racing to provide the on-demand convenience of scheduling, results review, telemedicine, but for me, Epic has already provided a product that goes above and beyond meeting that need. As a result, my healthcare experience has changed dramatically since Epic MyChart was implemented in my community. Not only does MyChart make communication with my physician readily accessible from my smartphone, it also provides a portal to quickly access my recent medical records and lab results. Additionally, the app is well designed to be user friendly, a bonus when the user base varies in age from millennials to baby boomers.
I recently needed to schedule an urgent doctor’s appointment, something which ordinarily might have required a phone call and lengthy wait time until I could be seen. However, now that my physician’s office offers MyChart, I was able to simply log in via my smartphone and select the next available appointment that was compatible with my schedule. Additionally, when I logged in, I received a notification letting me know that I was soon due for an annual physical, which I was able to conveniently schedule via the app. Without this reminder, I probably wouldn’t have scheduled the physical until far past its due date, if at all. A few days later, when my illness was not responding to medication, it was a relief to be able to simply send a MyChart message to my physician letting her know of some new symptoms, rather than having to call and ask front desk staff to relay the communication. My physician quickly received my message and was able to prescribe the correct antibiotics, helping my symptoms to improve within a few hours, rather than over the course of several days.
This ease of use and increased communication promoted the feeling that my healthcare experience was personalized and attentive to my specific needs as a patient, it was truly “on-demand” healthcare access. It left me eager to engage with the healthcare community in order to promote health and minimize the delay between onset of symptoms and presentation at the clinic. Knowing I have the opportunity to review my records, carry them with me, and interact at a higher level with my healthcare team is incredibly reassuring and reduces the stress of care. I overwhelmingly enjoyed the experience of being an empowered consumer of healthcare, a feeling I am passionate about sharing with my community and my clients.