October 25, 2019
MyChart tool puts patients in the driver’s seat
MyChart is a secure online portal that enables patients to see and manage their personal health information anytime, anywhere.
“It’s an amazing tool for people,” states Patti Dillabough, stressing its advantages for patients and/or their caregivers.
Dillabough has firsthand experience. Her daughter Paige was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour (medulloblastoma) when she was 8 years old. After a visit to the neurologist she was admitted the same day to CHEO and had a 14-hour surgery two days later. Complications from both the surgery and a very aggressive protocol of chemo and radiation took a toll on Paige, and she had to learn to do everything over with the help of physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
More than 15 years later, now in the adult healthcare world, Paige will be followed for life for respiratory and other issues. As Paige herself says, she sees many “ologists” (nine) on a frequent basis, including a nephrologist, cardiologist, respirologist, oncologist, ophthalmologist, endocrinologist, and more.
Recently when they went for regular oncology follow-up at The Ottawa Hospital, staff there suggested she should sign up for MyChart.
“We didn’t do it that day because Paige was tired after her appointments,” says Dillabough.
But because RVH is also part of the Atlas Alliance group of six organizations that implemented the Epic Health Information System on June 1, 2019, they were able to register in Renfrew. Dillabough has ‘proxy’ access to Paige’s MyChart records as her parent/guardian.
“We went to medical records at RVH and got her all set up here and it’s been fabulous, because I can go online and see all of her bloodwork results and all her appointments. Now that she’s graduated from CHEO where she had a case manager, I am the case manager, so I can go in there and track it all. For example, one of her appointments was changed and I didn’t get the call, but I saw it when I went on MyChart, so it saved us driving to Ottawa. It’s an exceptional tool. As a caregiver, it’s fantastic. You literally have everything at your fingertips. You can be responsible for your own care or in this case for her care,” shares Dillabough.
Previously, Paige had an intimidating total of 13 thick binders full of reports from all of her specialists.
“It’s so complex when you’re trying to follow blood work and trying to follow medications. I used to have a notebook and record information on an Excel spreadsheet to keep track. Now it’s there for you to look at instantaneously.”
After all these years, Dillabough knows what Paige’s results should be. “So, when I see them, if there’s something out of whack then I know to call. We don’t have to wait until we have a next appointment to see them. It’s really huge. I would highly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to get on MyChart because it really gives you the control for your own healthcare,” stresses Dillabough.
MyChart allows you to see after-visit summaries, upcoming appointments, test results, progress notes, discharge notes, medical imaging reports and more. You can record your medications, allergies and health measurements, such as blood pressure and weight, and you can check appointments.
“It’s very user friendly and everything is there,” states Dillabough.
To sign up for MyChart, you need a valid email account. If you do not have one, sign up for one first. Once you have an email account, you need an Activation Code. There are two ways to get one: 1) at your next visit, ask the clerk to enrol you in MyChart and provide your email address, or 2) visit the Health Records Department or Registration in person. If you need help, contact Health Records at 613-432-4851.
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