TORONTO – Patients of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Psychiatry department now have access to their medical records like never before. Through the hospital’s MyChart personal health record system, Psychiatry patients can request confidential online access of their clinic visit notes.
The psychiatrist responsible for the patient’s care receives an email alert for release of information and approves the request online. Automated checks and filters ensure only appropriate information and notes are shared securely.
Backed by the legislation of Ontario’s Release of Information policy, the system is just like the current paper process of requesting one’s medical record, but provides more direct results, as it takes away the middle layer for patients having to travel to the hospital to complete the release of information request first.
Now, an automated request goes through MyChart directly to the psychiatrist, keeping the physician directly involved with the patient request and patient follow-up as required.
“This really has the potential to impact Release of Information services of mental health information across Canada and beyond,” says Sarina Cheng (pictured, left), Director IS, Health Records & MyChart Program at Sunnybrook. “It allows patients to play a more active part in their health monitoring outside the walls of the hospital, and psychiatrists receiving online requests directly from any mobile device or computer.”
The benefits of monitoring mental health status and online access to one’s own personal health record through MyChart include: the ability to track mood, interactive care and care planning with the physician, and the patient can add their own notes, sharing thoughts and feelings with their doctor beyond the scheduled visit.
“This is new for mental health across the board, and I think it is a wonderful advancement,” says Dr. Ari Zaretsky (pictured, right), Chief of Psychiatry and VP Medical Education. “It is really aligning the goals of patients and physicians more closely as they are able to communicate on a day-to-day basis.”
About Sunnybrook’s MyChart
MyChart is a way for Sunnybrook patients to access and manage their own personal health record online. MyChart’s clinical health information comes directly from Sunnybrook’s electronic patient record system. The information in the MyChart record can be used by patients anywhere, anytime to monitor care while traveling, set up family records, keep a diary to monitor symptoms, manage a family member’s health information and care plan, keep care providers up to date, access care in the community and set up emergency information. Sunnybrook’s MyChart is available to the 1.6 million patients currently in the Hospital’s electronic patient record system.