It’s Sunday evening and Beth Turner, administrative director for the Baptist Women’s Health Center, faced a common situation. “I was sick.”
In former days, Turner may have pursued the most common option: call her doctor Monday morning. Instead, with MyChart, her health care reality is different. “I got on my cellphone, found a primary care doctor and scheduled an early morning appointment on Monday.”
It’s this type of very real-world problem that MyChart solves for patients. In its short history, MyChart has gained strong support from users very much accustomed to using the “My” technologies to make life easier. With each new feature, MyChart has added another layer of convenience, truly creating new behavioral norms within the entire industry from patient to Baptist team members. For advocates like Turner, there’s no going back.
“I feel so strongly about this technology that I changed my long-time personal doctor a year ago because he wasn’t using MyChart. But, I want all of my records and my family history together. It’s just too easy and convenient to use.”
When thinking about scheduling doctor’s appointments, traditionally time and access come to mind…or lack of time and many phone calls to get an appointment. Two of MyChart’s features, Open Scheduling and Fast Pass, make all the difference in the world for users.
“I love the MyChart mobile app. I use it to keep track of my mother’s and my meds and test results. I also use it to message physicians. It is very helpful also to schedule appointments after hours when I have the time to deal with personal issues,” said Randy King, vice president of metro operations.
With Open Scheduling, new patients browse physician directories and care clinics to find a physician and schedule an appointment. With the mobile app, using MyChart feels no more cumbersome than ordering a pizza or checking a bank balance.
“I love MyChart because I can literally do the 5,000 things a busy mom does, and remember that I need to ask my child’s physician a quick medical question or schedule our annual appointment,” said Paula Casey, the outpatient coordinator at Baptist Women’s.
She uses her phone app “while I am watching Liam swim in the pool, or walking the dogs or even after everyone has gone to bed. It is amazingly convenient.”
Even making payments is painless.
“The bill pay function makes it very easy to pay coinsurance and deductible amounts,” said King.
With Fast Pass, the technology handles those hard-to-get appointments with greater efficiency. When a doctor’s schedule is full, a user can request to be wait listed for an earlier appointment. “This is great value to a patient because Fast Pass will send messages to a phone if there is a cancellation for an earlier appointment. And if you book the earlier appointment, Fast Pass will cancel the first appointment,” said Chris Hopper, system director of Baptist OneCare.
Even patients in a hospital can gain greater visibility to their treatment simply by signing up for Inpatient Day at a Glance. With this feature, a hospital patient can view scheduled tests, medications and appointments.
With e-visit, anyone can have a quick visit with doctors or nurse practitioners at their primary care office related to 10 different non-urgent conditions. Live at three clinics, e-visit allows a fee-based visit through MyChart where patients can ask questions about their issue and the provider responds back with appropriate treatment or information. This is much faster than a visit to the office and the cost is often less than a typical copay.
For women hoping to schedule mammograms, MyChart now allows patients to not only schedule a screening, but to set up a diagnostic appointment. “A doctor has already opened an order. When he does, that sends a patient notification they can pick an appointment time for their exam,” said Turner.
From unscheduled life sickness to everyday health management, MyChart fits either scenario, further empowering patients to manage their own time—and more importantly—their health.