What is a Texas Health electronic health record?
An electronic health record is a computerized archive of information about the medical care and status of a patient.
It serves as a central repository of key facts and test and surgical results that are gathered from points connected to the record. Information is entered by representatives at a point of contact that a patient might experience: an emergency department, outpatient diagnostic tests and screenings, a surgery, an inpatient hospital stay or a physician's office visit — all utilizing the same electronic health record.
What are the benefits of an electronic health record?
- Safety: Because instructions, results and orders are displayed in printed type, not handwritten, the information is clear and unambiguous. Drug interactions and allergies can also be noted.
- Coordination of care: The many professionals who may be involved in your care can have access to your medical history and provide additional input to it.
- Cost effectiveness: Tests may not need to be duplicated when existing and previous results are easily accessible.
- Emergency care: Your records may reflect your wants, needs and treatments even when you might not be able to remember or speak for yourself.
What is stored in a Texas Health electronic health record?
An electronic health record may include your health and family health history, prescriptions and other medications, lab results, X-ray images, CT scans, MRI results, physician notes and surgical notes.
How are my physicians connected and how do they use the Texas Health electronic health record?
Physicians on the medical staff of Texas Health hospitals who are involved in your care have access to the records as authorized by the admission acknowledgement form signed upon registration or admission.
They may access these records from on-site or off-site computers to oversee and guide your care. Information that they have in their office archives — in paper files or stored on computer — may or may not be part of the electronic health record.
There are a growing number of primary care physicians who, with your permission, can access the Texas Health electronic health record system, even though they may not be involved in your care while you are in the hospital. It is a means for these physicians to keep connected with your progress and results as you return to them for follow-up care.
What's the next advancement for electronic medical records?
The advancement of electronic health records is expanding rapidly as a cornerstone for cost-effective health care and better patient outcomes. Officials in Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) are working to find means to share information from facility to facility in a more flexible manner.
Ultimately, your health records, if you approve, might be made accessible from virtually anywhere to facilitate coordination of your care.
Why is it important to select health care providers with electronic health records?
Consumers tell us that it is challenging for them to remember all the doctors, all the results and all the episodes of care they might receive. So having computerized records that are centrally stored — and that can speak for you when you can't — helps to improve care coordination, safety, and facilitate a more cost-effective use of health care dollars.
Can I access information in my own electronic health record?
Yes! Texas Health Resources offers an online patient portal, MyCare, through which you can access selected information in your own electronic health record. It is an encypted, password-protected website accessible through any Internet connection.
MyCare is only available through a doctor's office, and in mid-2010 about 50 physicians on the medical staff participated, with more joining each month. Ask your doctor whether he or she offers the MyCare patient portal.
How is my information protected?
Texas Health Resources complies with privacy and security laws for the protection of health information. Members of the treatment team have access to records in order to care for you, whether you are able to speak for yourself or not.
"Treatment team" refers to physicians, nurses, therapists and technicians. Should you want family and friends to be informed about your health care and condition, you may grant that desire by signing a relevant form at admission/registration. Each hospital has a privacy officer who can answer your questions about the use of, and access to, health information.
Electronic Health Records: One more reason
Texas Health Resources is leading the way.