It’s Benign but Does Your Patient Know?

| August 24, 2015

Many hospital systems now employ “patient portals” for patient’s to access their medical records, manage appointments and receive reminders about screening procedures and tests. I believe Epic brands this as “MyChart” within hospitals that have their EMR systems. Or EpicView and the like.

It sounds like a wonderful system. Not so much.

Imprivata-HIPAA-cartoonLaboratory medical directors across the country are raising serious concerns about this. Many require the reports not to be available to the patient until the patient’s physician discusses the results with him/her. Then a “release” of the report can be made after the clinician checks the box to do so. Physicians have to check more and more boxes these days.

Critics of releasing pathology reports to the patient’s access will cite this very problem, patient’s getting or seeing the information before their clinicians do and having to manage that information on their own.

cloud_198-securityTruth be told, patient’s are told “we will call you with your pathology report in 2 weeks”, allowing time for the office to get the report, review, call or schedule a follow up with the patient. Many of us recognize the majority of our reports are done within a day or two but this provides a cushion, then another cushion has to be added before the reports can be accessed in the portal.

If you want to see your pre-operative CBC, EKG reading or pre-operative chest x-ray that information is there, but for an informed patient, no pathology report or operative report. Only unless the physician releases that information to your chart, or “MyChart”.

Reminders about scheduling your physical and eating your fruits and vegetables for a healthy lifestyle are conspicuous.

Microsoft and Google both thought having cloud based systems to upload your health information to for a record of your personal healthcare data would be something all of us as healthcare consumers would want. I had subscribed for one of the vaults but when it came down to it, there wasn’t much relevant to upload. Vaccination records? Broken bone x-rays? Skin TB test results and screening lipids? Routine urinalysis from my annual physical I get every 5 years annually?

I can appreciate releasing the report after the clinician has reviewed the information with the patient as a matter of documentation but if this takes weeks to happen, how long are patients to wait for their information in their chart?

Is it “MyChart” or “What Someone Wants you to See in the Chart?”

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Category: Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Laboratories, Clinical Pathology, Current Affairs, Electronic Medical Records, General Healthcare News, Government, Humor, Laboratory Compliance, Laboratory Information Systems, Laboratory Management & Operations, Patient Advocacy, Personal

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