UTMB Health’s patient portal MyChart continues to grow in both number of accounts and patient usage of the on-line tool. As of March 2014, more than 40,000 individuals have activated a MyChart account to help them manage their health care. We know from their usage that patients love having access to their lab results more than any other feature, with results viewed 59,936 times in the month of February alone! They are also starting to use the bill pay feature, available since utmbConnect and the conversion of our billing to Epic Resolute. Since the go live in April 2013, online bill pay has increased from 87 users in May, to 1009 in February. That is a 1060% increase in traffic to that feature!
The Health System set an FY14 goal stating 35% of patients seen in the clinics would have a MyChart status of Active. The clinics have made slow but steady progress towards achieving this goal. While we are not there yet, everyone’s continued efforts towards educating patients about the benefits of using MyChart, and assisting them with activating their accounts while in clinic will bring us closer to the desired 35%. We know that the best way to assure a patient activates a MyChart account is to help get this done while the patient is in the clinic. Quick launch from Epic is the easiest and fastest way to help a patient set up his MyChart account. With the upgrade in April to Epic 2012, a MyChart sign-up button will be on the visit navigator, making it even easier for clinical staff to include it in the patient visit workflow with all patients who are not MyChart active. PSS staff working the front desk will notice a new MyChart activation pop up when they are checking in patients who have never been issued an activation code. It allows them to print the activation letter, or
Next up with MyChart is Direct Scheduling. With direct scheduling, patients can directly schedule an appointment in the system without assistance from scheduling staff. Patients enter a reason for the visit, an established provider and the location at which they want to be seen, and date and time preferences for the appointment. Patients then choose from a list of available appointment slots to complete the scheduling workflow. Direct scheduling will first be piloted at two primary care locations with the plan to then roll this feature out to other services. We are very excited to soon be offering this to our patients as they have been requesting the convenience and freedom of self-scheduling. In addition to the new direct scheduling feature, patients will still have the option of using the existing Appointment Request functionality, too.
Providing good customer service to our MyChart patients through timely, helpful responses to their questions, concerns and requests will ensure they find value and satisfaction with this tool, and the care we provide. Patients want to feel we are paying attention to their needs, and responding to them quickly through MyChart will show them that we care, and are truly there for them.