This N That: The life-saving MyChart portal

This N That host James Howard interviews Dr. Stephen Adams, Professor of Family Medicine at Erlanger Medical Center, about using MyChart.

You guys have had this here in town for how long?

We implemented it May 1st, but it really all came together October 29th of last year [2017], so it’s fairly new.

Looking at what MyChart is, it’s gotta make your life easier, it’s gotta make your patients’ lives easier. Let’s first talk about what MyChart is.

This is a patient portal that allows any Erlanger patient to have access to their test results, anything that’s done at Erlanger facility. Whether it’s in my office, in a cardiologist’s office, in the hospital, you can access your account.

You can see your medication list, you can see what’s listed for allergies. If there’s something that’s incorrect, you have the opportunity to fix it. You can also make appointments, you can message the staff, so lot of options there.

Dr. Adams, I’m looking at Quick Links. What people are saying, they’re saying it’s fairly easy to navigate.

Yeah. You don’t need instructions, this is very easy to use.

See, that’s what’s nice. For a doctor to say, “You don’t need any instructions at all, you just need a computer.” Right?

Right. If you can use, this is simpler than that.

So I’m hesitant to ask you. How much does this cost?

This is the only thing in healthcare that is free.

It’s free. Can you say that again?


So this is one thing that we want folks to sign up for. So is this for future patients? Patients that see a doctor on a regular basis through the Erlanger Health System?

It’s for people who are already an established patient. You need to have already had at least one visit, otherwise we won’t have any information on you in the system.

So take us through the process of once the patient signs up, do all the doctors sign in and create a profile on that patient’s MyChart?

Once you start an account and you’re verified, because we want to make sure that you’re really you, and not your nosy neighbor, then the information that’s in your chart will be available for you to see.

And the physician doesn’t have to do anything. When a patient comes to see me, let’s say I do an annual physical, the lab results come back in my box, and I release them to MyChart.

Now if it’s something bad, I might hold on to it until I can make a phone call, because I don’t want to give that information via computer when it needs to be person-to-person. But routine things like “Oh, your cholesterol is 198”, there’s no reason for you not have that as soon as I have it.

So I’m thinking with folks that are on so many medications, and they’re seeing multiple doctors, this could be life-changing.

This is a real safety innovation, the use of portals. Because one of the frequent things that happens in medicine is you go to a cardiologist, and a urologist, and some other -ologist, and all of them put you on medicines that are appropriate for the condition they’re treating, but they may not know about the others.

Many patients will get confused about “Well, I take a blue blood pressure medicine.” Well, there’s lots of blue pills. So being able to have access to your current medication list and being able to update it. If you get a new medicine from another hospital, you can enter it. That’s an important thing, and it’s a real safety factor.

If you’ve seen any physician at Erlanger Health System, you can create your profile on MyChart today.