October 6, 2006

StarPanel’s message baskets receive upgrades

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StarPanel’s message baskets receive upgrades

Electronic message baskets are among the highly useful features of StarPanel, the Web-based medical records application developed at Vanderbilt.

The baskets facilitate secure communication of patient information, making the application an important aid to team communication.

Two new upgrades to message baskets make StarPanel yet more useful, said Jim Jirjis, M.D., M.B.A., assistant chief medical officer for electronic medical records and chief medical information officer for the clinics.

• E-mail notification. For users who get only occasional StarPanel messages, repeatedly checking an empty message basket can be a dull chore. That chore is no longer necessary.

This upgrade allows the user to configure StarPanel to send an electronic notification to the user's e-mail account whenever a new message arrives in the user's StarPanel message basket. This will prove an essential upgrade for users who receive fewer items in their message baskets.

• Out of office notification. Keeping people waiting for a reply to a StarPanel message could potentially slow a patient's course of treatment. E-mail applications let users turn on an automatic out-of-office notification, and now so do StarPanel message baskets.

In the automatic reply, the user can indicate how long he'll be away and who to contact if the matter is urgent. Unlike with e-mail, the StarPanel user sending a message receives the out-of-office notification before sending, rather than after.

This notification does not apply to messages from patients: patients are invited to use My Health at Vanderbilt, a Web-based application related to StarPanel, to view parts of their medical record, explore health topics and communicate with their doctor's office, and any messages they send are relayed to special StarPanel message baskets that are covered by the physician's office staff throughout the workweek.

For more information, contact your clinic's electronic medical records specialist (www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/EMRteam); or Jirjis at 936-3208, or Sue Muse, project coordinator, at 936-1177.