Epic’s MyChart Signup
To borrow from a physician’s comment, “When technology understands what people want from healthcare, our system has a chance. “
Last week while at my physician’s office, I signed up for MyChart. Since my healthcare provider organization went live on Epic about four years ago, my experience from a patient perspective has deteriorated significantly, becoming worse each year. I suspect this is also a result of cost-cutting actions and trying to do more with fewer people.
My primary physician is terrific, but even she seems to now be distracted by data entry during our annual visit. I took my question list in and we talked about them. She entered data and then I got home, realizing a couple of the issues were not ultimately addressed with a proposed solution, both of us sidetracked by data entry.
I have to say that I was totally underwhelmed by MyChart.
All I could really see in the record was a list of my meds, the ability to request a refill, and my most recent vaccines. The Health Summary stated that I have no "Health Issues," yet I was referred to a specialist for more tests and treatments.
Test results: I could not view any of my labs or history of lab results. The message said, "On occasion, there are minor abnormalities reported with patient lab tests which are not significant. Any significant abnormalities will be addressed by your physician, who will give you the appropriate instructions.”
Medical history: under Diagnosis, there was "anesthesia." I wonder if that diagnosis is for appearing "anesthetized" while navigating my healthcare?
There was more history on my parents than on me in MyChart.
Appointments: they did score here. My past and future appointments did appear. But to schedule the appointments, I had to go through nightmare IVR. One appointment scheduling system left me on hold for 11 minutes before reaching a person to schedule.
I received my first electronic message from one of the specialist’s assistants I am seeing. It was annoying to open the e-mail to find I have to go into the portal (yep,now what is my user name and what is my password…I have forgotten) to merely see an e-mail they sent with a link to an online education for a procedure, easily available to me if I Googled the topic. I was annoyed by the required time to retrieve message and the fact I thought it might be important and require my immediate attention. And later, to go back in to send a response.
So I didn’t send an electronic response — I called them back. This "assistant" seems to know very little about the procedure. Every time we speak, there is a new tidbit of info which impacts my planning and what happens pre- and post-procedure. When I asked her why I wasn’t told this before, she responded, "I am just reading it now.”
I still have no clear answers to questions I am posing as an informed healthcare consumer and advocating on my own behalf. I cannot imagine how my parents would navigate through this. In fact, they would not be able to do what I am having to do and would have been no-shows.
Although I have now signed up for this revolutionary change in healthcare, I see minimal benefit to electronic messaging. I would put money on my actual physician not likely choosing to communicate with me through this portal in the near future.