Rebooting IT

This week our interim CIO Phil Kahn and his team went live with the new HIT blog. The purpose of the blog is to keep you updated on the progress of our key IT initiatives, including the new patient portal, FollowMyHealth.

Clarissa Rodriguez, PCA 2, left, and Jennifer Ramstrom, PCA 2 of General Internal Medicine are ready to answer questions about the FollowMyHealth portal

Clarissa Rodriguez, PCA 2, left, and Jennifer Ramstrom, PCA 2 of General Internal Medicine are ready to answer questions about the FollowMyHealth portal

The FollowMyHealth patient portal is a great way for patients to request a new appointment or reschedule one and to communicate with their provider. Ann LaFleur, ambulatory nurse manager in the General Internal Medicine Clinic on University Campus, has been a leader in rolling out our patient portal. Ann took the initiative to create the “Ask Me about the Patient Portal” buttons that the staff wear proudly. To date, just over 29,000 patients have registered on the portal, which marks its first year in October.

Ann’s sales pitch for signing on to the portal is impressive, too; she says, “The portal offers our patients a convenient and secure way to connect with our practice through self-service online tools, such as paying their bills, renewing prescriptions and viewing test results.”

Our patients – and if they wish, their family members – have the management of personal health records in their own hands, and that’s very satisfying for them.

Feeling satisfied with our technology is just as important for our employees as it is for our patients. We’ve got work to do in putting all the pieces of the Health Information Technology puzzle together to make our systems faster and more stable and usable. In 2014, we focused intensely on engaging everyone every day through our caregiver idea systems, which helped get us back on track financially.  For 2015, our focus will be on “rebooting IT” and making our system more dependable, faster and user friendly, expanding our dbMotion capabilities and enhancing the functionality of our patient portal.

By the way, since many employees are patients of UMass Memorial primary and specialty care providers across the system, please consider signing up for the portal to not only become more involved in your own health management, but also to be an advocate for the portal with others. You can contact any affiliated physician’s office to receive the secure link to register for a portal account.

Please take the time to read the HIT blog so you know what is going on in IT. If you’re interested in the topic, check out these recent articles about our FollowMyHealth portal and the sale of Soarian to Cerner, which we believe will have a very positive effect on our IT system.

Thank you for taking great care of our patients and each other,

Eric

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