Electronic Medical Records: safe, secure sharing improves patient safety


Seeking care in a hospital that doesn’t know you or your medical history can result in patient safety concerns and also anxiety for patients, especially for those with serious medical conditions.

Bernice Sessa, M.D., Beaumont, Troy emergency physician,
inputs patient medical information using myBeaumontChart.

Beaumont Health System now offers patients and doctors portable access to patient electronic medical records though Epic’s “Care Everywhere” electronic medical record tool.

Care Everywhere allows Beaumont’s doctors and hospitals to instantly and securely access a patient’s medical records from another health care organization that uses the Epic electronic health record system that have implemented Care Everywhere.

More than 200 hospitals in the U.S. use Epic Care Everywhere, including 8 health systems in Michigan. Beaumont was first in Michigan to launch the Care Everywhere feature. Since last November, 1,500 Care Everywhere record requests have been processed at Beaumont.

“The tool pulls information from the external organization and imbeds the data into the Beaumont EMR as a textual report kept separate from the patient’s chart,” explains Karie Lyon, vice president, Information Services, Beaumont Health System. “It is not a link between organizations, but rather a data pull at the time the request is made.”

“Having the results of tests provides a more comprehensive view of patient information resulting in improved patient safety. It can also eliminate duplicate testing and can result in greater efficiencies,” says Lyon.

“Instant access to medical records from other institutions is a big step forward,” says Samuel Flanders, M.D., executive vice president, Quality, Safety and Clinical Effectiveness, Beaumont Health System. “So often a patient has had care elsewhere that can affect diagnosis and treatment here. Care Everywhere eliminates the need to call the other health system and ask for records to be sent, a time consuming process that can delay appropriate care.”

Treating physicians are granted access to the patient’s medical history, family medical history, previous diagnoses, lab tests, medications, allergies, physician’s notes and other essential information – without having to wait for medical records to be transferred from one health care organization to another.

Beaumont patients can also access their own personal medical record anytime, anywhere through myBeaumontChart. It provides patients personalized and secure on-line access to portions of their medical record including: test results; prescribed medications; immunizations, allergies and medical history. Patients can also request medication refills, schedule appointments and pay their Beaumont Health System medical bills online.

For a full list of Epic participating health systems across the country, visit http://www.epic.com/CareEverywhere/.