How Wallace Medical Concern is Engaging Patients

April 9, 2015   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: EMR , Patient Portal , Interview , FQHC , HIT
Bill Roller, Wallace Medical Concern

Wallace Medical Concern wants to better engage their patients in their health care.

For the last nine months they’ve been working on doing just that via implementation of their My Chart portal, which provides online access of medical information to patients.

Bill Roller, Operations Manager at Wallace Medical Concern, answered a few questions about their efforts.

1. When did you first decide to implement My Chart, and how long as it taken thus far to get it off the ground?

We have been slowly implementing My Chart over the last 6-9 months. We participated in a patient engagement work group, and then partnered with Portland State University (PSU) and their Digital Health Literacy Team to work with our patients on their digital literacy skills. They completed a pilot program interviewing several of our patients to gauge where they are at and what their needs are. We also have been continually talking with staff to get them engaged and excited about My Chart over the last several months.

2. Which strategies have you used to get patients to sign up for My Chart and to support them in learning how to use it?

We have engaged the entire staff in getting patients enrolled for My Chart, offering front desk and in-room enrollment. Our front desk staff offer enrollment and enrollment assistance to new patients upon checking in for appointments; our Medical Assistants offer existing patients enrollment in the exam room (and assist them through the process); and our providers also talk to patients about enrolling in My Chart.

To make it a bit more fun, we have sponsored contests among the Medical Assistants and front desk staff to see who can enroll the most patients within a given time frame. Additionally, we hired a couple of interns to help enroll patients in My Chart when they are at the clinic for appointments.

To help patients learn how to use My Chart, we partnered with PSU to develop resources, trainings and support for patients who need it. We hosted 1:1 learning session in conjunction with PSU for interested patients to help them learn how to use the system effectively.  

3. What information is accessible to patients via My Chart?

All kinds of information related to their treatment and appointments. For example, through My Chart, patients can access information on when their past appointments where, schedule upcoming appointments, see what medications have been prescribed and request a prescription refill.

4. What resources have you developed to help patients use My Chart?

We are continuing to work with PSU and the Digital Health Literacy Team to create a My Chart online training for patients. We also plan to have team representatives come to our clinic a couple of days a week for a few weeks to meet with patients during a 4 hour window, during which patients will be shown how to use the patient portal.

We have also created ID cards for patients so that they have easy access to their log in information, and hope that this will support an increase of My Chart usage.

5. What are your short and long term goals regarding your implementation of My Chart?

Our overall goal is to enhance patient engagement through an increase in My Chart enrollment by 5% each quarter, and then onward from there.

In the short-term, we set daily team enrollment goals and update staff on our progress at weekly meetings, which helps break down the goal and make it more palatable. We have also created a visual awareness campaign, including hanging posters in the clinic advertising My Chart, and informing patients when our computer lab is available for use so they can access their My Chart account.

6. What are the biggest benefits to your clinic staff in implementing My Chart?

It has really helped to decrease the number of phone calls our clinic receives, and has made scheduling much easier now that patients can schedule appointments and access their medical information online.

7. How do you feel My Chart implementation has or will best improve patient experience and the care you deliver to patients in general?

We hope that through implementation of My Chart, patient satisfaction and patient experience will be improved overall, as they will be able to communicate via e-mail with their provider whenever they have a question, access their medical information online at their leisure instead of having to call the clinic, and the system will make scheduling appointments with the clinic much easier. Overall we hope it saves patients time and mitigates frustration, making their health care experience with our clinic much more pleasant.

 

Wallace Medical Concern is one of six practices participating in the PCPCI Improving Access through PCPCH Learning Collaborative led by CareOregon.

Read more about the Collaborative on our website and via our blog.