Monday, June 16, 2014

MyChart Rescues Me In Hospital, Again

Well, folks, I am past my eye surgery and glad of it. So far the prognosis is good but this was not the simple cataract surgery the rest of you are undergoing. Every step of the way was complicated by my first eye surgery of the retina. So now I have two eye surgeons following up on me instead of one.

But the purpose of this entry is not to discuss my own surgery but to discuss something important to every senior. This is how to survive in today's medical world. Jim and I do this survival medical ordeal together and I sure am glad there are two of us to do it. In my correspondence with some of you, I have been picking up that some of you are not doing so well navigating this new world. So this entry is dedicated to sharing what we do that helps us find our way. I cannot include everything in one entry so today's will focus on MyChart.

First and foremost: Someone, either you or someone close to you, must work a computer or computer based device to use the MyChart features of your medical providing hospitals. The hospitals are now using that feature all the time and expect the patients to be using it too. Most of my doctors are on staff at the Cleveland Clinic. My internist is at Metro Health instead of Cleveland Clinic. He is able to use my Cleveland Clinic computerized account. So he can see everything done to me at the Clinic. So MyChart is now collaborative as well.

MyChart keeps track of everything going on in your medical life in both that system and some others. Your doctor will send you messages from it. You will send messages to your doctor through it. All of your medications are listed there. You can access everything there. That is literally becoming your umbilical cord to the hospital you chose.

One of the most important things I can access there is my test results. Here for example is my colonoscopy test which was posted by my doctor to MyChart.

I will give you an example of how this intense and growing computerization can work to your benefit. When I showed up for the surgery yesterday, I met with the anesthesiologist. I was reminding him of highlights of my medical record pertaining to anesthesia (sleep apnea, jittery eyes) and the difficulties they had with it during retina surgery. We quickly determined that everything from that surgery was online in my account. He could download it and use it in this surgery. He did so and had it in hand as I was wheeled into the OR. I had as many problems in surgery yesterday that I had had in retina surgery. They were surmountable but it is a good thing absolutely everything about me has been added to my computerized file.

If you don't like using MyChart on your desktop or laptop, there are now apps to put it on your mobile devices, like phones and tablets. I put the app on my iPad Mini, which is what I carry with me in my purse as we drive around to these places. Here are the things which I access on my MyChart app.

Go to your applicable app store and look for MyChart by Epic. For Apple devices it is listed for the iPhone but it also works on the iPads but only in the vertical position. Once you open the app you enter your zip code in to find the hospital which you want to use (if you are using a hospital in another city, enter that zip code.) This is what the app looks like in the app stores:

If you have participated in none of the above, you are now working outside a system that is growing stronger by the day. This is never a good idea.

In an earlier entry, I mentioned that I had put my Living Will on computerized file with both of my hospitals as well. My Living Will was shown to me on their computer screen yesterday. When I went for my colonoscopy last month, they showed me the Living Will on the computer screen there. That same week when I went in for sleep apnea at the other hospital, I was shown it yet again.

You may remember that when we discussed your Overdrive Accounts at your public libraries, I told you to make full use of your library's support staff if you were having any trouble. Likewise, I recommend if you have any trouble setting up or using MyChart, that you get in touch with the support staff for it and get them to help you.  It is their job to do so. Just like it is the public library's job to get you onto Overdrive. Right on that very first web page for MyChart is the support staff phone and email. I prefer bugging them by email but do whichever suits you best.

Thus, I would use the left email for Cleveland Clinic MyChart and get their support until I was fully operational if I were having difficulty.

If you have questions, please use the comment box below this entry and we will do our best to answer you.

1 comment:

  1. So very helpful--thank you for pioneering this and teaching us how to use it!