MyChart brings providers, patients closer together

Users will be able to request appointments, contact providers

alt textInfectious disease physicians Manisha Juthani-Mehta, MD, (left) and Vincent Quagliarello, MD, preview MyChart. 

Infectious disease physicians Manisha Juthani-Mehta, MD, (left) and Vincent Quagliarello, MD, preview MyChart.

Yale Medical Group (YMG)’s new electronic medical record includes a significant new benefit for patients: Thanks to a new application called MyChart, they will be able to sit down at their home computer, or pull out their iPad, iPhone or Android, to access aspects of their personal health records.

MyChart is currently used by nearly 9 million people who are enrolled in the almost 130 health care organizations that have adopted the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system. So far the number of YMG MyChart users at Yale is still small—233 in the entire Yale New Haven Health System. As other practices implement Epic throughout this year, many more patients are expected to complete the voluntary sign-up form. The service is only available to patients of providers who have completed their Epic implementation, and a list of those providers is available on the MyChart section of the YMG website at www.yalemedicalgroup.org.

Patients may complete the enrollment process during an office visit, or online (using a code from an office visit) by going to www.yalemedicalgroup.org and clicking on the MyChart button on the home page. They will get a user ID and password. Once enrolled, they will have access to various aspects of their record, including test results, medication information and immunizations.

The interactive nature of MyChart allows patients to send and receive messages to and from their providers in an environment that, unlike e-mail, is completely secure, and where the exchanges become part of the medical record. They will be able to:

  • Complete questionnaires
  • Request appointments
  • Renew prescriptions
  • Obtain medical advice
  • Request such changes as the removal of information about a medication they no longer require
  • Pay medical bills online with a credit card once these services become available in 2013

They will also be able to access their record using selected mobile devices. A Spanish-language version of MyChart is under construction.

Research studies at health care organizations that have used MyChart for a considerable length of time show that it can save a practice time and money, particularly when it comes to prescription refills and the timely release of test results. The electronic health screening reminders that providers give patients help ensure compliance. For more information about MyChart, or to sign up once your provider has implemented it, go to www.yalemedicalgroup.org and click on the blue MyChart button.