Frequently Asked Questions About the Electronic Medical Record
What is an electronic medical record?
An electronic medical record (EMR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart that can be shared by doctors, hospitals and patients.
At Greenwich Hospital, the new EMR is provided by Epic Systems Corp., bringing all patient information together in one secure database.
With a single patient record spanning all points of care, hard-to-find information becomes a thing of the past. Results and notes generated during a patient’s visit to the hospital, physician office, or satellite blood draw station are consolidated, coordinated and accessible in one secure record.
The patient’s medical history, allergies, current medications, and all results entered into the EMR. With this secure confidential EMR, medical providers can respond quickly to deliver the best care possible.
A secure, single electronic medical record improves patient safety and the quality of care.
How does the electronic medical record work at Yale New Haven Hospital?
If you receive care at Greenwich Hospital or any other Yale New Haven Health System hospitals (Greenwich Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital or Yale New Haven Hospital) – or from a Northeast Medical Group provider or other affiliated physician practice, your EMR will always be available to your treatment team. This feature will improve patient care across our region.
Every part of the patient’s clinical information is stored in one medical record. Physicians, nurses and caregivers can focus on patient care instead of paperwork.
Patients sign fewer paper forms within the hospital. E-signature pads capture patient signatures on privacy (HIPAA) and other documents at registration and on consent forms prior to receiving anesthesia.
Electronic medication prescriptions and a computerized physician order entry system enhance patient safety by reducing medication errors. Prescriptions transmitted electronically don’t carry the risk of a pharmacist misreading a doctor’s handwriting. This system will alert caregivers if a drug is prescribed that would interact negatively with other medications the patient takes.
Patients are less likely to undergo redundant testing or exams and physicians don’t lose time waiting to receive test results and diagnoses from a lab or other provider. Instant access to the EMR allows a physician – especially in emergencies – to begin to quickly provide care.
How is my privacy protected? Who can access my record?
A patient’s medical information is protected under federal law. Any hospital employee who has access to a patient’s medical history, test results, insurance information or any other form of protected health information is responsible for safeguarding privacy.
Only approved healthcare providers involved in your care can view your record. The EMR is locked until an approved caregiver logs in to the database to access the record. When the caregiver is done, he logs out. For additional safety, the system automatically logs out a caregiver who is not actively using it for a brief period.
All login activity is recorded and a privacy auditing tool tracks all caregivers who have logged into a patient’s medical record.
I thought Greenwich Hospital already had a computerized record.
We have used e-records for some time now, but this is the first time they have been merged in a way that links our hospitals, satellite facilities and physicians’ offices.
Can I see my medical record?
Yes. Unlike paper charts, which you might not readily see, your physician can show you test results and medication records while discussing your care simply by turning the computer screen toward you.
You can continue to be active in your own healthcare by enrolling in MyChart.
What is MyChart?
MyChart is a free “patient portal” within our Epic EMR system. With MyChart, you can securely access the Internet to view portions of your medical record. View test and lab results, renew prescriptions, send non-urgent medical advice questions to your doctor.
Please know that not all physicians affiliated with Yale New Haven Health are offering MyChart at this time. If your doctor is participating, he or she will give you a MyChart Activation Code and instructions on how to use this service. Once you receive your MyChart Activation Code, visit MyChart to access your personal record.
What can I do with MyChart?
Through MyChart, patients have access to their medical records where they can:
- View test results
- See upcoming and past appointments
- Schedule routine appointments
- Communicate with the doctor
- Renew prescriptions
What is MyChart proxy access?
Proxy access allows a parent, guardian, or family member to view the patient’s MyChart account.
Now you can help loved ones schedule appointments and keep track of immunizations and medications. Visit MyChart and click on the Process Access link. Here you can download either the pediatric or adult proxy form. Complete the form and bring it with you to the physician’s office where the patient receives care.