Jenny Pollard, of Ames, IA, has visited different doctors and specialists at McFarland Clinic. MyChart, a web portal for patients, makes it easy for her to keep track of who she has seen and communicate electronically with the various physician offices.
“I first signed up for My Chart last fall because I was excited that there would be a way that I could simply login and see all my doctor visits, prescriptions and health information, “ said Pollard. “This is much easier than trying to keep paper copies of all these visits and dates myself.”
With MyChart, patients can:
- Request medical appointments
- View health summary
- View test results
- Request prescription renewals
- Send a message to the doctor’s office
McFarland Clinic began implementing an electronic health record in 2008. The technological advances of an electronic health 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.
“With MyChart I’m able to send a message at my convenience and get an answer back from the nurse at hers. I prefer not to have to call the office and leave a message and have to play phone tag,” added Pollard. “Just recently I had a question about getting a refill on a prescription. I was able to message my doctor my question and the nurse got back to my right away and had already sent in the prescription to be filled. This saved me time.”
Jenny’s primary care provider, Jessica Zellweger, PA-C, of McFarland Clinic Family Medicine East, also shares in the benefits of patients using MyChart.
“Using MyChart gives patients a chance to be more proactive in their own medical care,” said Zellweger. “MyChart does have a feature where patients have the ability to send an electronic message with questions to their medical provider/nurse. It is automatically documented in the patient's chart, which is helpful to providers.”
“I have had patients ask simple questions that are easily answered, request refills, request appointments and I have personally used it as a way for patients to relay information to me. I have had patients send me weekly or monthly weights if we are, for instance, monitoring weight loss management. Patients have also sent me home blood pressure readings,” Zellweger added.
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 the homepage of McFarland Clinic’s website
Each person controls his or her password, and the account can only be accessed with that password. The information sent across the Internet through MyChart is encrypted so it cannot be intercepted.
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.
For more information about MyChart or the electronic health record, please contact your physician’s office directly. Sign up and proxy access forms for MyChart are also available on the McFarland Clinic website.