Health Information Management

VUMC patient portal is a gateway to innovation

HIM-HIPAA Insider, June 16, 2014

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Implementing a patient portal is at the top of the list for many organizations working toward attestation for Stage 2 Meaningful Use of EHRs under CMS' EHR Incentive Programs. However, one Nashville medical center is ahead of the curve. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) implemented its patient portal in 2003, long before it was a Meaningful Use requirement.  
The VUMC portal—known as My Health at Vanderbilt—was implemented because patients often contacted their physicians via email and the medical center needed a secure means of electronic communication, says Anne Dixon, RHIA, a manager in the Center for Health Information Management at VUMC.  
"We were really trying to find a better way for patients who were very tech savvy to engage with our physicians," Dixon says. "Patient engagement was on our radar long before Meaningful Use."
VUMC rolled out the portal to just one clinic at first so the physician champion could test its effectiveness, Dixon says. The physician champion and an administrator led the medical center’s patient portal steering committee, which consisted of members of various departments, including:
  • Representatives of the office of general council
  • The director of medical records
  • Privacy and security officers
  • Risk management staff
  • IT staff
  • Informatics staff
  • Various specialty providers
“It takes a village,” Dixon says. “It’s not just an HIM/ IT function at all. You have to have other stakeholders involved or you’ll get yourself into trouble.”
Continue reading "VUMC patient portal is a gateway to innovation" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Medical Records Briefing have free access to this article in the July issue.


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