When it comes to making the most out of Epic’s MyChart, Senior Nordic Consultant Kassie Remo has a lot to offer. Nordic Practice Director Lauren Griessmeyer sat down with Kassie for a few minutes to learn more about Meaningful Use, patient engagement, and a number of pro tips for getting all you can out of Epic’s MyChart.Here are a list of the topics Lauren and Kassie cover:
- The intersection of patient engagement and Meaningful Use
- Secure messaging and e-visits
- Care coordination
- Implementing MyChart and choice of features
- Workflow changes with MyChart, division of labor
- Clinician adoption of MyChart
- Patient adoption of MyChart
Time: 7 minutes, 15 seconds
Lauren: I'm Lauren Griessmeyer, one of the practice directors here at Nordic. I'm here today with Kassie Remo. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Kassie: Thanks, Lauren. I'm a senior consultant here at Nordic, and I have many years of ambulatory operations experience. I have the advantage of having been a clinic operations director in an organization that was an early adopter of MyChart.
Lauren: One of the reasons that patient engagement is such a hot topic right now is because of the implications for Meaningful Use. Can you talk about some of the ways that patient engagement and Meaningful Use intersect?
Kassie: Yes. There are many ways that patient engagement supports not only Meaningful Use but the other CMS quality measures like PQRS reporting, and then also patients at a medical home, which you know maps directly to Meaningful Use. As well as a lot of other accountable care organization initiatives that require that patients are educated about their healthcare, and a lot of information about care coordination as well. It's very important that folks consider what the different tools are that are available through Epic. MyChart, in particular, offers the opportunity to meet some of the Meaningful Use measures. One in particular that's of note is the fact that MyChart's secure messaging and also MyChart e-visits count toward that 5% of patients that need to be engaging with their providers in a secure electronic fashion.
Lauren: What are some other ways that MyChart can help you hit some of those Meaningful Use or the CMS measures that you were just talking about?
Kassie: Yes. MyChart can also be an adjunct to a lot of the care coordination and outreach that's done because, of course, a lot of the Meaningful Use measures and patients that are medical home initiatives, depend on an entire care team to contribute towards the patient's care. There are many ways that the coordination of information has to take place. There are ways that different individuals within the care team can communicate via MyChart. You may have an asthmatic educator, you may have a dietitian, you may have a certified diabetes educator that may be communicating with that patient in addition to the patient's primary care provider.
Lauren: Because a lot of times those different types of providers won't necessarily be within the same clinical setting, the same physical setting, are there ways that MyChart can help solve that problem of having to cross actual physical locations as well?
Kassie: Yes. That's the beauty of using Epic, and especially having a single record within a large healthcare system where you have multiple facilities. Patients may obtain their care in multiple locations. Of course when there's a shared record, all the individuals on the care team are able to see that information.
Lauren: We've talked a lot about patient engagement in MyChart as a main tool for patient engagement. Can you talk a little bit about the actual implementation of MyChart?
Kassie: Yes. Organizations have many choices when they implement MyChart because they can be selective about the features that they offer and certainly sequence it accordingly. One of the things that I wanted to mention is that it's of utmost importance to really plan well when you're planning for a MyChart go-live. The reason for that is you're selling this to patients. Although patients really expect a high level of service with technology, you need to make sure that the providers and all the support staff are also on board. I bring that up because there are many workflow changes that need to change with MyChart. This is all work that needs to be managed accordingly. You want to make sure the division of labor is okay. I bring this up because often providers feel that they may inherit work that maybe their nursing or other support staff used to do for them.
Lauren: What are some good examples of workflows that now the providers kind of feel like “I'm doing this, whereas my nurses used to do it?”
Kassie: Secure messaging would be the main one. Because, of course, messages fill in baskets, and often you want to advertise MyChart messaging where you have patients sending messages to care teams. That allows the organization the option to actually have a screening of the messages so that all those messages don't go directly to the providers.
Lauren: Are there some good selling points that you can really emphasize when you're trying to get clinician buy in for a MyChart go-live?
Kassie: Yes. The good thing about MyChart messaging is that it's asynchronous in the sense that it offloads a lot of phone calls that would otherwise be coming into the organization. It also gives an opportunity for the providers to get information from patients in an advance of an appointment. One of the examples would be, if you use some of the other questionnaire functionality within MyChart, when appointments are scheduled, you can collect more information from patients, and actually be able to expedite some of the clinic visits. An example of that would be collecting medical history information in advance of a physical exam. Then when the patient arrives for the appointment, they're more prepared. Less time is taken doing some of the administrative work of the visit, and then the patients are ultimately served better in the process.
Lauren: That's the clinician adoption side. What about the patient adoption side?
Kassie: In terms of patients, they really need to understand that there is a service level that's set by the organization. Typically, they're used to a lot of real time response when they have other electronic processes like banking functions, and shopping online, and things like that. It's important that the organization set the expectations that are reasonable. Because the patient is not going to be encouraged to use someone's MyChart system if they feel they'll have to wait too long for a response, or if they feel that too many limitations are set. Like in the types of appointments that may be scheduled, or maybe how long it takes the healthcare system to refill a prescription, for example.
Lauren: What are some of the tools that organizations have used to set those expectations with patients?
Kassie: I think, for the most part, the organizations have really looked at what they feel they can achieve in terms of patient safety, is number one really. That's in terms of secure messaging and also appointment scheduling. They look to that, and they want to make sure that they set parameters that don't encourage patients to use it as though it's an urgent care system. The messaging is really designed for patients that are established patients, who know a particular provider and a care team, and they want to make sure that expectations are set when the patient is seen in the office. An example might be how long it typically takes to receive a test result, or how long a particular provider or their team might take to respond to a message.