August 12, 2012
West Virginia University Hospitals-East introduced the Epic electronic medical record, or EMR, software at City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital on Aug. 1.
The new EMR is expected to provide many benefits, including improved quality of patient care, making it easier for physicians to communicate about individualized care and allowing patients to securely access their own records 24/7.
Planning for the implementation of the new Epic EMR began in 2011, when the commitment for the $10 million project was made. The official kickoff was held last fall as training for the information-technology staff began. Training for physicians, nurses and other clinical staff began in April.
One of the changes with the new Epic EMR is that there will be a new MyWVUChart patient portal powered by Epic’s MyChart application. This will give patients secure access to their medical records, test results, appointment scheduling, health-education materials and prescription refill requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients may also access their medical records on smartphones by downloading the MyChart app.
Brochures with information about MyWVUChart are available throughout the hospitals and online at www.wvuh-east.org.
Proxy access for a legal guardian or person with parental rights to be able to view another individual’s MyWVUChart requires submitting a form to WVUH-East’s Health Information Management department for approval. This feature will not be available until Aug. 15.
With implementation of the new EMR, WVUH-East is also participating in the West Virginia Health Information Network, a Health Information Exchange. The network provides the fast and secure exchange of test results and reports among hospitals, labs, X-ray facilities, doctors and insurance companies that are participants in the network.
According to Caroline Cloud, WVUH-East privacy officer, patients who do not want their health record to be shared through the WVHIN’s HIE may request to opt out during the registration process. Information will automatically be shared through the network unless the patient completes a request to opt out form. For more information, go to www.wvhin.org.
As part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment enforced by President Obama, it is federally mandated that all eligible professionals, hospitals and critical-access hospitals participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs complete installation of EMR technology by 2014.
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