November 30, 2007

Convenience drives My Health growth

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Stanley Cohen, Ph.D.

Convenience drives My Health growth

From June through October, My Health at Vanderbilt gained 426 new registrants per week, growing from 28,188 users to 37,145 in just five months.

Each day, between 1,500 and 2,000 patients visit

Sheer convenience may explain why Vanderbilt's innovative patient Web portal continues to attract new users in such large numbers. It offers a single, secure Web site where patients can review their medical records, communicate electronically with their doctor and health team, make an appointment, pay their clinic or hospital bill and find useful information about managing their chronic condition and guarding their general health.

A recent access upgrade has also allowed My Health at Vanderbilt to offer pediatric patient accounts.

New features in development include an online childhood obesity self-care program, a peripheral vascular disease screening questionnaire and information about patient enrollment in specific Vanderbilt clinical trials.

“The portal gives us a big platform, so we're seeing more and more groups around the Medical Center coming forward to collaborate with us to add new functionality and value,” said Jim Jirjis, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical information officer for outpatient clinics and project chair for My Health at Vanderbilt.

Last year, users gained the ability to assign access to their accounts to family members, adult children, referring physicians, etc. That set the stage for the rollout this summer to most of the pediatric clinics on campus.

“We're finding this is an excellent means of relaying test results to families and efficiently handling common requests like prescription renewal,” said Joel Steelman, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics.

When a parent registers an account for a child 12 or under, the parent decides whether to give access to the patient, while for children 13 to 17, dual consent and direct registration of both the patient and parent are required. No matter what age the child is, a pediatric account on My Health at Vanderbilt involves creating two or more accounts, then linking them, and since Aug. 6, 1,043 of these linkages have been requested and created.

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