July 26, 2002

Patients will plug into VUMC

Featured Image

This year’s Christie Scholars are, front row, left to right, Catherine Oelschig, Alison Frank and Natasha Magnuson. Back row: Danielle Rode, Rachel Glick and Jennifer Cannon. Lesley French, Michael Kinzer and Tiffany Kyle are not pictured. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Patients will plug into VUMC

A new password-protected Web site called MyHealthAtVanderbilt is destined to help facilitate broad communication with patients.

The long-term plan for the site includes display of test results and other highlights of the electronic medical record; capability for patients to submit their medical history; on-line bill payment, prescription renewal and outpatient appointment requests; and customized route-finding information to help patients reach their clinic destination. The site may also eventually pull in pertinent patient education material from EBMSolutions, the evidence-based medicine site conceived at Vanderbilt and driven today by a consortium of prominent academic centers.

With launch set for later this summer, the first phase of MyHealthAtVanderbilt will include outpatient scheduling information and complete patient account information. Patients can also use the site to send questions regarding their account to patient representatives in the billing office. The site will at first be available only for medical center staff, with the intention of gathering additional feedback before a public launch.

The Web site is a component of E3, the Vanderbilt initiative to remove paper based processes from outpatient areas.

“E3 includes a major focus on how to communicate more directly with our patients,” said Nancy Lorenzi, assistant vice chancellor for Health Affairs and project leader for E3. “While phase one of this site is limited to read-only information, the vision is eventually to allow dialogue with each patient.”

“The whole focus of the site is what’s good for the patient,” said Laura Klepper, computer systems analyst and a project leader for MyHealthAtVanderbilt.

The site is the work of Vanderbilt’s component engineering group, with assistance from the Epic and Medipac support groups.

Information on outpatient appointments will be available as soon as scheduled, and itemized account information will be available within 24 hours of posting, before printing and mailing. The site will break out account balances owed by the patient and by the health plan, including the date payment is received.

“We realize the big payoff will come when clinical information is introduced to the site,” Klepper said. “We’ve chosen to start with billing and appointment information, while building the site’s infrastructure and security.”

Security for the site will be similar to that used with on-line banking, with patients registering for site access in person and receiving their password by mail. Once the site is launched, either of two Web addresses will take you there: www.myhealthatvanderbilt.com or www.myhealthatvanderbilt.org. Staff will soon be invited to register for site access at Guest Services, 1801 TVC.