On March 19, Texas Children’s launched MyChart Instant Activation and Fast Pass as part of the hospital’s system-wide initiative to improve patient access. MyChart is an online patient portal where patient families can schedule clinic appointments, communicate with their health care providers and access their health records at any time.
“When we implemented MyChart in 2010, one of our goals was to enable parents to become active participants in their child’s health care,” said Julie McGuire, director, Enterprise Systems Clinical, at Texas Children’s. “Through these recent enhancements to MyChart, we are continuing to cultivate a positive experience for our patients, children and women, and their families, while delivering the highest level of care possible.”
MyChart Instant Activation
MyChart Instant Activation essentially pushes out a text or email notification to Texas Children’s patient families that allows them to sign up for a MyChart account. Instead of having to use a computer to sign up, families who receive the invitation can now use a smart phone to activate their MyChart account and download the MyChart mobile app. Clinic staff at Texas Children’s Pediatrics (TCP) and Mark Wallace Tower have seized on the excitement of this new notification tool – and the current excitement around the college basketball tournament – by joining in a collaborative MyChart Madness competition. Other campuses like Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus have been successful in implementing MyChart Mondays where patients and their families can register on the spot.
“Our employees and staff have embraced this friendly and collaborative competition which has had a positive impact on patient access,” said Rachel Norman Brock, manager of Ambulatory Clinics at Texas Children’s. “Instant Activation provides the organization with another way to increase MyChart activation rates across the hospital system, resulting in more patients and their families taking advantage of the benefits of this online patient portal.”
The MyChart Madness teams are grouped in regions – Midwest, West, East and South – and the winner of the entire bracket receives a prize. MyChart Madness originated with TCP. TCP staff and employees launched the push to increase activations on March 1, and within just three weeks, the practices activated 9,003 new MyChart accounts. TCP’s success in promoting MyChart activations across its 51 practices inspired leaders across the organization.
During the first week of instant activation across the Texas Children’s hospital system, we had 3,492 same-day activations, almost half of which resulted from instant activation. This was a significant increase considering that a month ago, prior to the launch of MyChart instant activation, we had only 1,972 same-day activations.
Currently, several of our Texas Children’s Health Centers are doing an outstanding job of increasing MyChart activations. Cy-Fair Health Center achieved 100 percent same-day activations the week of March 11.
Once families have activated a MyChart account, they have access to features like Fast Pass, which also recently launched with two subspecialties on March 19. Fast Pass creates an electronic waitlist, and automatically offers patients and their families on the waitlist sooner appointments. Patients also have the ability to add themselves to the waitlist via MyChart.
Just last week, a patient who had an April 12 appointment with Allergy/Immunology at the Sugar Land Health Center was seen 21 days sooner than originally scheduled when an opening became available at the Wallace Tower.
“Since Fast Pass went live, there have been seven Fast Pass offers accepted to help families get earlier appointments,” said Julie Barrett, director of Outpatient and Clinical Support Services at Texas Children’s. “We are so proud of our teams and their diligent work in helping us achieve these recent success stories on patient access.”
MyChart Instant Activation and Fast Pass are both tactics in Texas Children’s strategy to improve patient access. In just three short weeks since Texas Children’s launched the patient access initiative on March 1, the hospital has added 10,000 new patient appointments annually into the system. After evaluating appointment templates for over 200 providers, additional slots were found where physicians could see patients in four hour blocks.
“We must ensure that all patients have access to the amazing clinical programs offered at Texas Children’s,” said Texas Children’s Assistant Vice President Carrie Rys. “Our Patient Access Committee has identified many system-wide solutions that will enhance patient experience across the system. These will be implemented in phases over the next several months. Improving patient access at Texas Children’s is our focus and priority.”