UChart Launches in UHealth Clinics

Electronic medical records system is a secure online portal for patients to access their medical records.

Miami (May 18, 2010) — With a flurry of activity and an abundance of support and anticipation, UHealth – the University of Miami Health System catapulted itself into the electronic realm of health care records with the launch of UChart today. Six clinical care offices began offering MyUHealthChart, a secure online portal for patients to access their medical records from anywhere, at their convenience.

“It’s going to be excellent,” said Jacqueline Cereijo, D.N.P., M.B.A., R.N., one of several support people in an orange vest that says ‘UChart,’ indicating she is a Super User of the UChart system. Cereijo oversees the out-patient dermatology clinical area at University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, one of the six clinical launch sites. After undergoing several hours of training, she is now providing support to the office staff as they begin entering information about the first patients of the day.

Besides the dermatology clinic, the other sites launching are the first-floor head and neck clinic, third-floor cardiology clinic and internal medicine clinic, all at UMHC; sixth-floor neurology clinic at the Professional Arts Center; and the pediatrics clinic in Kendall.

Patients at each of these clinics can now sign into MyUHealthChart.com, an online portal to their medical records. As they leave their office visits, each patient is given educational material and an activation code to create their MyUHealthChart account. Using that portal, they can send email to the clinical staff and physicians, view select lab results and orders from their physician. Physicians can also send prescription information to pharmacies.

The clinic of James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, was among those in the introductory group. He was actively engaged with his staff as they worked through the system, and anticipates it “will be wonderful to allow all physicians to have access to all parts of a patient’s medical record.”

Each of the alpha clinics has a group of UChart support staff offering assistance and answering questions. David Seo, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Cardiovascular Division, and Physician Champion of the UChart system, rotated among all six clinical areas as the system was launched, addressing concerns and issues as they arose.

Seo said this alpha group was meant to be “a robust test of the system,” and that overall, it was going well with physicians and staff on board with the new initiative. “This is a game changer for UHealth,” he said. “We’re already modifying our training, finding gaps and adapting the system as we launch.”

One hundred percent of the staff involved in this initial phase has undergone training, from the 80 physicians to the two hundred clinical support staff. Behind the scenes, at the UChart Command Center in the Hope Lodge, dozens of support staff were hunkered down, addressing issues as they arose, from technical questions, to operational work flow and training. Jackie Liberto, executive director of strategic operations and executive champion of the UChart system, explained that a tiered support system has been established to track incidents and quickly deal with them. “We’re working very hard to handle concerns as they come up, from twice daily briefings to logging every issue so we can track trends.”

Virtually every physician was working with the new system whether they realized it or not. The basic demographic and insurance information for 800,000 patients in the UHealth system has already been entered so as they make appointments and begin clinical visits, there is a starting point within the UChart system. The Medquist dictation system used by physicians to dictate notes is now automatically inputting that data into those patient records as well. “Today’s launch is far more expansive than just these six clinics,” added Seo.

Gary Hecht, a melanoma patient of James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., is very interested in creating a MyUHealthChart account for himself. He sees the ability of physicians to be able to see his entire medical history from anywhere as “essential.”

“Teamwork” and “dedication” were some of the words mentioned several times by both clinicians and the UChart staff. Liberto said from “Medical IT, to the physicians and clinical readiness owners, this launch is a true testament to what we can achieve when we work together.”

For more information, visit the Miller School of Medicine.

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Graham Jonaitis, one of the many members of the UChart support staff, fields questions at the Command Center.

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