Ask the Expert: Why is it important to have access to medical records while on vacation?

With summer vacations in full swing, it’s time to remember to keep your important medical records within reach while you are out of town. In this special edition of “Ask the Expert,” Dr. Owita Mays, internal medicine physician with Baptist Medical Group-Collierville Internal Medicine, offers some tips for using a new app that’s designed for just that purpose.

[toggle title=”Why is it important to have access to one’s medical records while on vacation or out of town?” state=”open”]It is important to have access to these records when you are away from home because no illness is expected and accidents do happen. Having access to your medical records at all times can help the emergency room physicians or any other provider who is unfamiliar with you take better care of you during an acute illness or injury.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Can you suggest a convenient method of accessing these types of records while out of town?” state=”close”]Absolutely. If the patient happens to be in the Baptist network, they can sign up for MyChart. It is a secured Web application that allows patients to create their own password, so they can electronically access their own medical records from their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”What types of records are available in the MyChart app?” state=”close”]

The app offers access to the patient’s past medical history/problem list, allergies, and current medications. Patients can also access their after-visit summary (AVS), which gives them detailed information regarding their last office visit and any instructions or medication changes they received at that time.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Can MyChart also give you access to the records of children or elderly parents in your care?” state=”close”]

Yes, if patients agree to allow an adult child to have access to their records in accordance with HIPAA regulations, the adult child can access a parent’s records, as well.  And yes, parents of young children are able to access their child’s records.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Who has access to use MyChart?” state=”close”]

Patients who are within the Baptist network and have signed up for MyChart ‒ and their providers ‒ may access their records via MyChart. MyChart is very secure; the same security precautions taken to protect written medical records are taken to protect electronic medical records on MyChart.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Besides accessing medical records, what else can MyChart help patients do?” state=”close”]

Patients can also schedule their own appointments through MyChart, send non-urgent messages to their providers, and request refills on their medications.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”How can patients sign up and get started using this new app??” state=”close”]

Patients can go to and sign up, or when they are in their doctor’s office, they can ask for an activation code to sign up for MyChart.

MyChart is a feature of Baptist OneCare, Baptist’s new electronic health record system, which is rolling out in phases throughout the Baptist system.