How an enhanced electronic health record puts patients in the driver’s seat of their health
To unify the University of Vermont Health Network and improve the patient experience, we introduced a new electronic health record (EHR) across our network on November 9. Over the next few years, we are integrating health records across our Vermont and northern New York network of physicians, hospitals and clinics to streamline and enhance your ability to manage your health record and connect with your providers.
“The transition is about giving patients a whole new set of tools to allow them to take an active role in managing their health. We will progressively roll out new functionality, including an improved online health portal called MyChart that provides the self-service that people are used to in their daily lives,” says Doug Gentile, UVM Health Network chief medical information officer.
We will launch our new EHR in several waves across the UVM Health Network and patients can look forward to the following improvements:
- More complete and accurate personal health record, now accessible across our network
- Online appointment scheduling
- Online bill pay and budgeting tools
- Appointment waitlist availability
- Improved medication management
- Improved online messaging with providers
- Ability to share your personal health record with family and other providers both in and out of network
Making it easier to manage your bills
“The thing I’m most excited about are the tools that will allow our patients to set up recurring budget plans, credit card processing for easier bill pay, and for the first time we’re going to be able to provide a single statement out of each of our hospital affiliates,” says Michael Barewicz, UVM Health Network VP of revenue cycle.
For instance, the University of Vermont Medical Center has had three statements for patients: one for the facility bill; one for the professional bill; and one for the anesthesia bill. After this launch, we will consolidate all three of those statements into a single statement so that we will have a single budget plan for patients. This will make both single payments and recurring budget plans easier to manage without having to call our customer service team.
Staying connected to your care
We’ve known for a long time our ability to provide expected connectivity, like a web portal, secure messaging, automated reminders and text messages has been lacking. Moving to this Epic platform gives us a place from which we can build.
It is important to us that our patients can find, access and manage the care they need. Rebecca Freeman, interim UVM Health Network chief nursing information officer, says it best:
“This is really an engagement tool to help patients receive safer, more effective care. Members of the care team can easily share information and patients are empowered through technology – a computer, smart phone, or tablet – to access and own their own health story at every point in their health care experience.”