Cleveland Clinic Making Electronic Medical Records More Transparent to Patients Online

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Providing Patients with Convenient, Secure Access to Medical Notes, Images and Results Will Encourage More Involvement in Care and Engagement with Care Team

June 6, 2013

Cleveland Clinic is making its patients’ electronic medical records (EMRs) much more transparent and accessible by providing patients secure, convenient online access to almost all of the information in their medical files. The move will give patients a more complete picture of their health and empower them to make better, smarter and more economical decisions about their care.

In the current version of MyChart, the secure online patient portal for accessing the Cleveland Clinic EMR, patients can view their after-visit summary, medications list, allergies, immunization records, preventative care details, laboratory results, and radiology reports. If they want to see the rest of their medical records, they must contact the hospital to get hard copies of the EMR.

The new transparent MyChart EMR will give patients nearly complete access to pathology records, x-ray reports, physician notes, and the list of their current health issues, which physicians use to briefly describe a patient’s health status, recent concerns, and known diagnoses. Patients will be able to view online nearly everything their doctor sees in their EMR. Providing patients with this convenient access to all of their medical data will enable them to play a bigger role in their own care and allow them to better collaborate with their care teams.

“Our 21st century, value-based healthcare delivery system requires that patients are actively engaged in their health and healthcare decision-making,” said Toby Cosgrove, MD, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic. “It is our job to provide MyChart-activated patients with the tools and information they need to make informed decisions about their own healthcare, under the guidance and expert advice of their physicians.”

Cleveland Clinic has taken several steps over the years to improve patient access to their medical records. Any patient can gain access to hard copies of their complete medical record, and, earlier this year, the reports associated with medical images including MRI, CT, ultrasounds, and mammograms were made available online through MyChart. The EMR system is expected to be fully transparent to the patient sometime next year.

“We have to approach this change carefully and thoughtfully with the input of all involved in order to be sure that patients receive the appropriate, physician-guided education that will ensure they will fully understand the information they will see,” said C. Martin Harris, MD, chief information officer for Cleveland Clinic. “By enhancing the connection between our patients and their clinicians, we will create new opportunities to use information to more fully engage our patients as active partners in their health and the decisions they make related to the care they receive.”

Beginning this month, Cleveland Clinic will start automatically releasing pathology reports to patients through MyChart. Patients will have secure online access to both the results and their textual interpretation. There will be a delay built into the release process so that patients will be able to hear the results directly from their physician before logging into MyChart to access them.

The procedure and problem lists and patient notes will be available on MyChart during the next phases of the transparency rollout later this year and into 2014.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at http://www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.

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Wyatt DuBois, 216.445.9946, duboisw@ccf.org
Angie Kiska, 216.444.6002, kiskaa@ccf.org

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