New Electronic Medical Record to Launch September 30
After nearly 18 months of collaboration and preparation, MidMichigan Health will extend its single electronic medical record (EMR) system to MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena and its physician offices throughout the Alpena area. The new system will enable each patient to have one comprehensive medical record shared across the MidMichigan Health-employed providers and facilities who deliver their care. The project will also bring MidMichigan Health-owned facilities onto the same platform for registration, scheduling and billing.
What to Expect
When you visit a MidMichigan Health facility after September 30, you may notice these changes:
- Staff may take a little extra time to confirm your existing information at your next visit, to ensure your data is entered accurately into the new system. This is for your safety and will prevent you from having to fill out repetitive forms in the future.
- Large screen monitors in exam rooms and inpatient rooms will enable you to view your medical information alongside your provider. This is designed to improve accuracy and dialogue so that you can better understand your health and take action.
- Activation codes will be provided on your bills and after visit summaries, making it easier than ever to sign up for a MyMidMichigan account. This account gives you secure electronic access to view your health information, message your doctor, book appointments, pay bills and more.
- Your providers will have access to the same, consistent information across MidMichigan Health’s Medical Centers in Alpena, Alma, Clare, Gladwin, Midland and Mt. Pleasant, as well as doctors’ offices. It will also be easier for MidMichigan providers to share your information with other hospitals and doctors who partner in your care.
Following a successful launch at other MidMichigan Health locations this past April, the second phase of the project will connect MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena on September 30, 2017 and a third phase will connect MidMichigan Home Care in spring 2018.
“We have experienced many benefits with this new system that we are excited to extend to Alpena,” said Dan Waltz, chief information officer, MidMichigan Health. “It puts consistent, shared information at the fingertips of our patients and providers for safer, more collaborative decision-making. It reduces the time to look up information and complete documentation, which improves provider productivity and satisfaction and lets them spend more time with patients. A single system will also be less costly to maintain, helping us to keep costs down for our patients over time.”
The software, contracted by Epic Systems Corp., a privately owned healthcare software company based in Verona, Wisc., will result in faster, more accurate communication and streamlined processes for safer, higher-quality patient care.
“We have nicknamed this project ‘One Person, One Record’ because anywhere the patient goes within our system, a MidMichigan provider will have access to their full medical record,” said Pankaj Jandwani, M.D., chief innovation and medical information officer, MidMichigan Health. “Even when patients travel outside of our system to others with Epic software, such as our partners at University of Michigan, the medical record systems will talk to one another, making the exchange of information much easier and safer for the patient. For example, using a feature called ‘CareEverywhere,’ we can pull up a patient’s records from other health systems and see what has already been done for them. This not only avoids duplicate testing, but also enables us to start treatment more quickly. ”
In addition to these benefits, the new system will enable patients to do many more things electronically, such as schedule appointments online, self-check-in from home or at on-site kiosks, take advantage of future virtual care options such as telemedicine and e-visits, and view and pay all MidMichigan Health bills from one account.
“It has been less than 18 months since we affiliated with MidMichigan Health and the University of Michigan,” said Karmon Bjella, president of MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena. “Already our teams have made amazing progress in integrating our processes and computer systems, standardizing our workflows to align with best practices, collaborating on patient care and delivering new services to our region. I’m proud of how our employees and providers have embraced change while still providing excellent and personalized care to each patient each day. With a change of this magnitude, some bumps and frustrations may be expected. However, our teams are prepared to support one another and make this a positive experience for patients.”
Patients will soon be receiving instructions in the mail for how they can prepare for the new system by activating their MyMidMichigan account, which they will use to communicate electronically with their providers, view their medical records and manage appointments, payments and prescriptions in the future. The MyMidMichigan portal will replace the MyHealth, FollowMyHealth and NextGen portals with a single electronic interface that patients can use for all of their online transactions and communication with MidMichigan Health.
The IT framework for this system is hosted internally at MidMichigan Health. Michigan Medicine, the health care division of the University of Michigan, also uses Epic, and will continue to be a valuable resource for sharing best practices.
Epic Systems is a privately-held company that makes healthcare software for mid-size and large medical groups, hospitals and integrated healthcare organizations spanning clinical, access and revenue functions. More than half of the U.S. population has medical information stored in Epic software. Clients include the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins.