Approach to OpenNotes
MEDITECH believes patients should have access to their entire medical record in order to be active participants in managing their health. Our customers have the ability to share OpenNotes with their patients in all versions and releases of our Enterprise Health Record.
Our customers allow patients access to OpenNotes by setting a couple of parameters to share clinician notes in the Patient and Consumer Health Portal. Healthcare organizations simply define which report (i.e. note) types should be sent to the portal, at what status, and with how many hours delay needed. Once a note meets the defined parameters, it will display in the portal.
Patients can automatically receive an email indicating that new reports are available in the portal. Following the link embedded within that email will bring patients to the “New Activity” section of the portal. From here, patients are able to instantly view the new reports and notes. When patients log into the portal directly, they will see New Activity information displayed first on the homepage. Unread items are highlighted with bold type and with a red dot to make them stand out.
The portal offers patients the ability to submit demographic updates via the portal. In 2018, we will introduce Questionnaire functionality to the portal – the first step in creating a truly collaborative record that allows patients to share their story with their providers in meaningful ways.
For sensitive or confidential information, a visit, report, or even an entire record can be marked so it’s not viewable within the portal. However, it is available within the EHR for access by other clinicians.
MEDITECH’s Patient and Consumer Health Portal actively engages patients in their care by giving them access to valuable health information online. Patients and their authorized healthcare representatives can manage a wide range of health data from a single portal at their convenience. Patients can use messaging to communicate with their providers; access their Health Summary; request and book appointments; review allergies, conditions, medications, results, and notes coming from the EHR; track Patient Generated Health Data; pay bills; and more.
Patients and authorized proxy users are able to access MEDITCH’s portal from wherever they are, whenever they choose. The portal is accessible via browser as well as through MHealth, the mobile app gateway to our full portal. The MHealth app makes the portal even more accessible by allowing patients to utilize full portal functionality (including access to OpenNotes) on smartphones and tablets.
MEDITECH functionality that supports OpenNotes
For MEDITECH Customers, allowing patients access to Open Notes is a matter of setting two parameters to share physician notes in the Patient and Consumer Health Portal. Healthcare organizations define which report types should be sent to the Patient Portal and at the status at which they are sent. (Reports are typically released at a Final status). They can also define the number of hours the system waits to display the report on the Patient Portal (allowing clinicians to personally review/share sensitive information with patients before they read the report).
Tools to help patients access their notes
MEDITECH offers a series of end user Marketing materials for all of our customers to use. These materials include information recommending that Reports* be accessible to patients via the portal.
*Note: MEDITECH considers provider notes another type of Report and files OpenNotes under the Reports tab in our patient portal.
MEDITECH trains the customer’s Patient Portal implementation team on all areas of the portal, including the benefits of incorporating Reports into the Patient Portal. However, organizations provide their own tools/education to their patients regarding the benefits of accessing OpenNotes. We will be including information about the OpenNotes implementation toolkits into our own Best Practice recommendations.
How patients are notified that there are new notes for them to read
Once a report/note meets the parameters defined above it will display in the portal and patients will receive a new activity email indicating that “New Reports” are available in the portal. Patients can click on the link within the email and will be brought directly to the “What’s New” section of the portal. From here, patients are able to click on the new Report. New items are also highlighted in bold type.
When they log in patients will see “What’s New” information displayed on the home page above any other information if there is new activity for any of the following items:
Unread items within each section will also be highlighted in bold.
When patients log into the portal, new Reports will display on the homepage in bold and with a Red dot.
Proxy access for others involved in the care of a patient [e.g., informal and formal caregivers]
MEDITECH allows Proxy access for portal users. Currently the process for proxy access is determined by the health care organization, following appropriate state law and federal privacy laws. We are currently working on additional functionality that will allow for the granting of various degrees of access to proxies.
MEDITECH has reports/routines that track the number of patients enrolled in the portal. We can also track usage (Reports and other features that are accessed).
Visits as well as entire records can be marked as Sensitive. Any data or visits marked as sensitive are not available within the portal. However, they are available within the EHR for access by other clinicians.
There are two MEDITECH dictionary fields that will determine if and when reports will go to the portal. A separate report type should be created for any reports that will be confidential, and the two parameters should be left blank to prevent those reports from appearing in the portal. Some customers set up a simple, plain text report that providers use to enter a Confidential note in the record. For any reports that should never be made available in the portal, the Health Portal fields would be left blank, preventing them from being viewable in the portal.
About MEDITECH and MEDITECH’s Patient Portal
Healthcare is long overdue for genuine disruption and innovation. MEDITECH helps care organizations to reclaim their productivity, coordinate care, and do more for patients with its mobile Web Enterprise Health Record (EHR). With 2,400+ customers, across 22 different countries, MEDITECH solutions empower users to provide higher quality care, with greater efficiency, to more people, at a lower cost. A leading EHR vendor with over 45 years of experience, MEDITECH is helping care organizations reach their clinical, analytical, and financial goals. For more information on how MEDITECH is transforming healthcare and building the next generation of EHR leaders, visit our Newsroom, Blog, and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.