Business owner Rick Brimeyer, of Ames, uses technology daily in his professional and personal life. From financial records to the household’s natural gas usage, he has a wealth of information right at his fingertips. So, when he learned about MyChart, a web portal for patients, at the McFarland Clinic North Ames open house in November 2010, he gladly signed up.
“I liked the idea of having electronic access to my medical records,” says Brimeyer. “With everything else available online, it seemed only natural to have access to something as important as my medical history.”
With MyChart patients can:
- Request medical appointments
- View health summary
- View test results
- Request prescription renewals
- Send a message to the doctor’s office
- View past immunizations
- Receive important health reminders
- View a child’s growth chart through Proxy Access
McFarland Clinic began implementing an electronic medical record in 2008. The technological health advances of an electronic medical record provide greater efficiencies and allow instant access to information for physicians and patients. In October 2010, McFarland Clinic began offering patients access to MyChart to view medical information in the electronic health record and communicate securely with the doctor’s office.
“Fortunately, I’m a pretty healthy person so I wouldn’t consider myself a MyChart power user,” says Brimeyer. “However, it’s nice to easily get dates if I’m trying to recall when I experienced a certain condition like seasonal allergies.”
“My favorite feature by far is having the ability to send a message to my doctor’s office. Invariably, I return from a visit with a question I either forgot to ask or thought of after the visit,” says Brimeyer.
“Communicating over the phone can be difficult because of how busy the doctors are. By using secure mail, I have confidence that the doctor is seeing my question directly as intended and communicating with the nurse who often replies back. I’ve also been impressed with how quickly I receive a response,” says Brimeyer.
Patients who wish to utilize MyChart are issued an activation code during their clinic visit. This code enables patients to create a personal user ID and password to securely log into MyChart from McFarland Clinic's homepage. For patients who do not have upcoming appointments, activation forms can be printed online.
Patients may also request access to view medical information about family members and securely communicate on their behalf using MyChart. This is called Proxy Access and allows a parent (or guardian) to log into their personal MyChart account, and then connect to information regarding their family member. Proxy Access is granted once signed authorization forms are completed.