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Published on February 11, 2015

MU Health Care Puts Patients First With Access To Online Physician Notes

Patients can now view outpatient visit notes through MU Health Care’s patient portal

Patient Portal

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Health Care providers have long believed that an informed patient plays a vital role in the delivery of health care. To encourage patients to be more involved in their care, MU physicians have worked with the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation to give patients access to their notes at the click of a button. Notes are available on MU Health Care’s patient portal, MU Healthe, for most outpatient clinic visits dating back to Dec. 1, 2014.

“At MU Health Care, we believe that patients should be a part of the health care team,” said Thomas Selva, M.D., chief medical information officer for MU Health Care and professor of clinical child health at the MU School of Medicine. “By making clinic notes available to patients through our secure online portal, patients can play a more active and informed role in their health care. Our goal is for patients to ultimately have better outcomes and lead healthier lives.”

When a patient visits an MU Health Care clinic, the health care team records various details of the visit. This record serves as a summary for providers, and now patients, to reference. These notes can include clinical observations, diagnostic test results and other details of a patient’s care. These notes are automatically synced with MU Healthe, allowing patients to log on to view them after the provider has completed his or her documentation.

“Many patients may not think to ask questions during their appointments,” Selva said. “But in today’s patient-centered health care environment, we want them to have access to their health information. By reading what their physician documents, patients can review the assessment of their condition, revisit any recommended steps and better recall their treatment plans.”

A national pilot study of physician notes available through patient portals found that:

  • More than 60 percent of patients reported doing better with taking medications as prescribed.
  • More than 77 percent of patients reported that having access to their doctors’ notes helped them feel more in control of their care.

In addition to viewing physician notes, MU Health Care’s portal offers patients the ability to schedule appointments, view test and lab results and securely communicate with health care providers online. Additionally, MU Health Care is a member of the Tiger Institute Health Alliance, a health exchange allowing MU physicians to share patients’ up-to-date electronic medical records with providers from other health care organizations in central Missouri.

MU Health Care has been nationally recognized for its use of advanced medical information technology to improve patient care. In August 2014, MU Health Care became the first academic medical center and the ninth health system in the country to meet federal Stage 2 “meaningful use” standards for its adoption of medical information technology to improve patient care. MU Health Care has been recognized for four consecutive years as one of the nation’s “Most Wired” health systems, according to the 2014 Most Wired Survey by the American Hospital Association’s “Hospitals & Health Networks” magazine. MU Health Care also has been recognized for its adoption of electronic medical records, having achieved Stage 7 of the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model — the highest level of EMR implementation set by HIMSS Analytics.

To log on to the MU Healthe patient portal, patients can claim the account invitation that is emailed to them during or following their visit or request an account online. For more information, please visit www.muhealth.org/patient/mu-healthe/.

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