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Cleveland Clinic Florida wins Best Use of Technology Award for its Physician-Directed Patient Health Record

December 7, 2009

Cleveland Clinic Florida was the winner of the South Florida Business Journal’s 2009 Best Use of Technology Award, presented at its annual Technology Awards program in November. The academic medical center was honored for its use of eCleveland Clinic MyChart, a physician-directed patient health record designed to educate and empower patients to play an active role in the management of their health care. The only service of its kind in South Florida, MyChart provides Cleveland Clinic patients with direct online access to their personalized health information from the privacy of their own homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Improving patient care and the health of patients is the fundamental goal for embracing electronic medial records and the innovative tools, like MyChart,” said Bernie Fernandez, Jr., MD, chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “Cleveland Clinic has fully engaged technology as a means to increase doctor-patient connectivity, improve patient satisfaction, and most importantly, empower patients to become their own best health care advocates.”

Since its system-wide roll-out in June 2007, more than 23,000 patients have established MyChart accounts, allowing them to view portions of their medical records as released by their physicians. Patients can view test results, request or cancel appointments, and request prescription renewals. They can also access links to general health information as well as in-depth descriptions of laboratory tests and medications. MyChart also provides registered users with important health-related reminders, such as age-appropriate screening tests.

“With a physician-directed patient health record like MyChart, the physician controls the release of medical records to the patient,” said John Santangelo, director of information technology for Cleveland Clinic Florida. “It is an important step toward establishing a patient-directed PHR (patient health record), in which a patient is able to consolidate medical records from multiple providers, including pharmacies, into one comprehensive health record.”

Last year a group of patients from Cleveland Clinic Florida participated in the Google trial of its online health records portal, Google Health, which allowed consumers to create patient-directed PHRs. With the Google pilot completed, all Cleveland Clinic patients who use MyChart can now choose to establish their own secure link between MyChart and Google Health.

“Cleveland Clinic believes a portable patient health record will ultimately result in health care savings nationwide,” adds Dr. Fernandez. “The ability of patients to maintain and share a comprehensive history of medications, test results, conditions and treatments with any health care provider of their choice will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary or duplicative testing and prevent costly and sometimes tragic medical errors.”

Cleveland Clinic, located in Weston and West Palm Beach, Florida, is a not-for-profit, multi-specialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic has nearly 170 physicians with expertise in 35 specialties. The medical campus is fully integrated and includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery, and a 24-hour emergency department located in the state-of-the-art hospital, which was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® in cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters in 2007 and 2008. Cleveland Clinic is 1 of only 13 hospitals in the nation recognized at the Gold level by the American Heart Association for performance in all three categories of the Get with the Guidelines program: Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure & Stroke. Cleveland Clinic Florida is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose. For more information about Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit