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New MyChart Features Help Keep Families Informed

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New MyChart Features Help Keep Families Informed

New MyChart Features Help Keep Families Informed
Karen Nitkin

Date: 09/11/2019

New MyChart features, including Instant Activation and Electronic Request for Proxy, make it easier for parents and guardians to sign up for proxy access and for patients to designate proxies who can access all or some of the health information in their electronic medical record.  

Designated proxies are people given permission to view aspects of the patient’s medical record through the MyChart patient portal.

Pediatric cardiologist Philip Spevak knows how important these proxies can be. They are often the people who help keep track of appointments, ask valuable follow-up questions and help patients follow their care plans, says Spevak, who is also chief informatics officer for Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

“Not so long ago, some thought that the doctor knows all,” he says. “That was never really true. And now, there’s even more focus on the patient and the parent being participants in their care.”   

When Spevak meets with patients and their families, he always asks if they use MyChart, the online portal that allows them to easily see their medical records, make appointments, communicate with their care teams and designate proxies. If not, he tells them how easy it is to create a MyChart portal with the Instant Activation feature. Patients and families typically sign up during the same visit.

Adult signup is also easier with a new feature that automatically sends a text message with an invitation and link to sign up for MyChart when adult patients who don’t have MyChart accounts schedule appointments.

Even people who are not patients of the Johns Hopkins Health System can receive a MyChart account so they can become a designated proxy for a Johns Hopkins patient, says Carrie Stein, director of clinical informatics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and co-chair of the Patient- and Family-Centered Design Work Group. 

When a person requests proxy access, the outpatient or inpatient provider’s staff confirms the requester is eligible and then uses Instant Activation to send a text message with a sign-up link. In most cases, adult patients can designate a proxy online.  

Previously, proxy sign-up for MyChart had many more steps, including manual entry of a multidigit code generated at the clinic or hospital, and forms that were available only at the clinic or hospital and had to be obtained and submitted in person. 

Spevak says this easy, accessible MyChart activation and proxy access benefits patients, families and clinicians.

“Clinicians feel more responsive and patients are more informed,” he says.