This Real Answers post is for the families who are part of our practice, Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics- Beachwood.
Those in the practice who have activated their child’s My Chart account have already experienced the astounding improvement in communication that My Chart delivers, but we are now announcing that improvement is taking a bold step forward.
We are now at the point where anyone in our practice can come pretty close to ending the need to call to talk to their doctor, to make an appointment, to get a form, or to see a lab result. All these essential acts of communication are now possible via the extremely usable and effective platform called My Chart.
I have been using My Chart with families for several months and I can honestly say that having been in touch with families for many years by text, email, and mainly by phone, this is by far the easiest and most convenient format. And should an actual conversation be helpful, My Chart allows one to initiate that far more easily than leaving a message through the office.
What follows below discusses what is My Chart, and how to use it. I urge every family in our practice to activate a My Chart account for each of your children, it will greatly enhance your ability to communicate and get things done for each child!
What is My Chart?
My Chart is a communications system that is 100% part of the nation’s dominant electronic medical record (EMR) system, EPIC. EPIC is an EMR system that goes wildly beyond any one hospital or medical center. At this time about 2/3 of all charts in the United States are working on EPIC, that is a staggering fact! In our NE Ohio region, all but one major medical center runs all their charts on EPIC. Fortunately for all of us, EPIC is an outstanding EMR system.
My Chart is a function designed and operated by EPIC. Not by the Cleveland Clinic or Akron Children’s Hospital, or any hospital or medical center. My Chart is a terrific set of functions that allow patients to communicate extremely easily with their doctor and their doctor’s office.
The communications that My Chart allows a family and patient to accomplish with their doctor, office, and chart are really rather amazing (see below for details).
How Do I Activate My Ability to Work with My Office via My Chart?
Although My Chart was created by, owned by, and operated by the EMR company EPIC, access to each chart is strictly limited by EPIC to each medical center that holds the individual chart.
What does that mean?
In our area, many families already have activated and often use a My Chart connection to a doctor at The Cleveland Clinic. You would think that if you are activated on one My Chart system you are activated on them all. But no. In this example, if you have an active My Chart account for one member of your family at the Clinic, that gives you no access to communications by My Chart with that person at any other hospital but the Clinic, and with no other member of your family anywhere.
The point is that each person can only work the My Chart system for their communications for one person at a time and with only one medical center at a time.
And so, to activate your child’s account in My Chart in my office, Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics- Beachwood, you must take these several very simple steps:
- Your child must have actually been seen at least once, physically, in our office at 3733 Park East Drive, Suite 102.
- While here, just ask the front desk to register your child in My Chart.
- The front desk will give you instructions on how to get that started including the right code(s) to set it up.
- Activate your child’s My Chart account.
Once Activated What Can I do for My Child with their My Chart Account with My Office?
The range as noted is rather extraordinary:
- Talk to me and/or Dr. Hertzer. When your My Chart for your child is activated, you just sign in, and you can write whatever you’d like us to know or respond to. The message goes to our nurse who will answer the message if that works, or he sends it to Dr. Hertzer or I and we each personally write back. It’s very quick and exceptionally easy. And if you need a conversation, you can ask for that and we will call you.
- Make an appointment. Our My Chart function allows any family to make an appointment to see Dr. Hertzer or me. This is currently true for any family in the practice, and in the next few weeks, will be true for anyone wishing to join the practice too. This function allows you to literally pick your time and set your appointment. No more need to talk to a receptionist to make appointments! It is as fast and easy as making a reservation at a restaurant now. Of course we are far more than a restaurant, so if any questions come up with the appointment you make, our office can always call you to see if you would like to reserve more time, for example. But the ease of making appointments is now dramatically improved!
- Check lab results. Any test we do that is released to My Chart, and I can’t think of a common lab test that isn’t, is viewable to you as soon as it becomes viewable to me. Again, without having to call, without having to login to a lab. Just look at the result in My Chart.
- Check for upcoming appointments. Ever wonder if you made that appointment for your baby or child for the next check-up due? Are you current for baby visits, is your current check-up current enough for soccer teams or schools starting? No more having to call the office, just look it up in your child’s My Chart
- Participate in your child’s medical care. In each of your children’s My Chart, you can update allergies, check on medications, update events. You can look at their growth curves. Again, without having to call, at anytime day or night you like.
- My Chart is the nation’s dominant format to allow any family to connect to their doctor’s office and communicate, book an appointment, get information, add information.
- It is the largest because it is not owned by any hospital, but owned and operated by EPIC, the electronic medical record company that runs over 2/3 of all Americans’ charts.
- EPIC is so dominant, that essentially all major NE Ohio medical centers have all their charts on EPIC, except for one, and that one has committed to converting to EPIC in the next year or so.
- My Chart accounts interface across all participating hospitals, but each person’s actual My Chart account ONLY connects them to their chart in ONE medical center. So in our office, you need each child must have their own My Chart account via Akron Children’s Hospital to do all that My Chart can do for you for your child.
- Each of your children’s My Chart account, that child, for now, must have been seen physically in our office at least once. Very soon, our My Chart will allow any family to enroll in My Chart!
- To activate EACH CHILD’S My Chart account, simply go to https://mychart.akronchildrens.org/
- When you go there, for now you will asked for an activation code which currently can only be received at our front desk, hence the need for at least one visit.
- Once enrolled, your work to help your children get the medical care will suddenly get far easier. The entire world of having to call our office will transformed!
Imagine, communicating with Dr. Hertzer and/or Dr. Lavin, making any appointment, checking lab results, checking for upcoming appointments, updating your child’s medical record all without making one phone call. I am very excited about all of us moving from the outdated habit of calling and waiting, and joining you in the far better way of using My Chart. All while continuing to be available when conversations, not just information, are helpful.
To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin