Empowering Cambridge patients through digital access to their health information
In 2014, Cambridge University Hospitals implemented Epic, an electronic patient record using advanced digital technology, allowing patients’ medical information to be accessed online.
Patients with long term health conditions often want to be more involved and informed about their health, care and treatment. They want access to their health information in an easy-to-access way.
To identify and deploy a digital solution that meets the needs of both hospital staff and patients, empowering those in receipt of healthcare to have greater access to and visibility of their healthcare information, enabling them to be more involved in their care and better supporting them to manage their conditions.
Solution and impact
In 2016, Cambridge University Hospitals launched MyChart, a patient portal integrated with the hospital’s electronic patient record system. MyChart provides patients of the Trust’s hospitals, Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie, with secure access to parts of their health record held within the hospitals’ Epic electronic patient record system.
Patients can amend aspects of their health information without having to make unnecessary hospital visits or calls to their clinics/clinical teams. For example, if they have been prescribed new medication by their GP, they can add the medication name, dose and frequency to their record via MyChart for discussion with their clinical team during their next hospital appointment.
Patient appointments are more efficient and effective, as doctors can use prior information submitted by patients through MyChart to better prepare and plan for appointments.
As a partner of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), Cambridge University Hospitals is actively supporting the delivery of the STP’s five year plan for hospital services, community healthcare, mental health, social care and GP services, to harness technology to modernise the delivery of healthcare. The use of patient portals and other patient sharing tools is integral to this plan, to enable access to high quality care across the STP and provide patients with access to their shared health information to better support their care.
A patient’s hospital information is available to them electronically via MyChart instead of being posted to them. Other features include:
- accessibility via secure website or MyChart app for smartphones and tablet devices
- patient can view upcoming hospital appointments, details of past appointments and hospital visits, clinic letters or clinical correspondence from doctors, test results, medication and health condition information
- patients can directly message their clinical teams about changes in conditions or symptoms or any concerns prior to appointments
- proxy access for parents to view the health records of the children
Patients can also complete pre-appointment questionnaires electronically within MyChart and discuss the results during their next clinic appointment. This makes appointments much more effective, as patients and clinicians spend more time discussing care and treatment plans together.
Web-based and available as a mobile app, giving patients secure access to their own electronic health records.
Over time, additional functionality of MyChart will be activated by the Trust, enabling patients to book and reschedule appointments electronically, upload health trends themselves (such as blood pressure, weight and blood glucose) and offering integration with wearable devices.
A patient portal linked to the hospitals’ Epic electronic patient record system.
As of November 2020, over 60,000 patients of Cambridge University Hospitals are active users of the Trust’s MyChart patient portal.
“I have a range of medical problems and like to work with my clinicians in the management of my conditions, which is why MyChart appealed to me. All my hospital information is in one place within MyChart. I can access it at home, in hospital, or anywhere in the world where I have internet connection through my laptop, tablet or phone. It gives me peace of mind when I want to travel as if I were to need medical attention wherever I happen to be I can simply log in and show my information to the hospital team caring for me. I literally now have my hospital information to hand wherever I am.”
Alan Craig, Addenbrooke’s Hospital transplant patient with MyChart.
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