March 18, 2019

 

As part of Texas Children’s Care Coordination Initiative – and in an effort to ensure better care and communication between providers and their patients – MyChart is now available in Spanish.

“By having our patient portal available in Spanish, we want to ensure that we are providing information to families in a language they understand,” said Dr. Heidi Schwarzwald, executive sponsor of MyChart Spanish and Chief Medical Officer Pediatrics of Texas Children’s Health Plan. “Patients and providers can now use the same great functionality in MyChart to transmit messages and health information faster and more efficiently in whichever language our patient families are most comfortable with.”

Before or after patients log on to MyChart at mychart.texaschildrens.org, they can click on the “En Español” button and the MyChart patient portal switches to Spanish. From there, patient families can obtain their after visit summaries and immunization records electronically, reducing phone calls and delays. They can also request medication refills and other services. All of the main features from MyChart English are now in Spanish except for certain titles or sections, such as medication names.

Within MyChart, patient and families can also send and receive open messages. Care team members have three tools to translate Spanish messages from MyChart. Messages can be translated by Spanish-speaking staff who have been validated by Language Services or through a translation software, Systran. Staff can also send MyChart messages for translation to the Language Services team via Epic Inbasket. Each clinic has established their workflow on who and how incoming messages will be translated and can then respond to the concern or request using the current workflow for English messages.

“While over 60 percent of Texas Children’s patients use MyChart, only 27 percent of Spanish-speaking patients had accessed the MyChart patient portal which meant providers had to use different modalities to contact these families,” Schwarzwald said. “Now with the launch of MyChart Spanish, we hope this new communication tool will encourage more Spanish-speaking families to engage with us via MyChart.”

From Texas Children’s operations teams that provided the guidance for needed features to the technical teams that helped implement the new functionality to the Language Services department that provided translations for content, the MyChart Spanish rollout has been a huge team effort across the board.

Language Services provided all of the content and document translations that populated the server files for the Spanish MyChart implementation. This included everything from minor phrases and alert messages to full multi-page, terms of service and important FAQ translations. All of the patient-facing files and content needed to be translated and included in the Spanish MyChart build on the web servers.

“We provided knowledge and expertise to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the translation software and we’ve been working to create and build the software’s dictionary, which establishes the benchmark for accurate translation,” said Alma Sanchez, manager of Language Services. “Our team will continue to enhance the dictionary and translation memory to enable quick and complete responses to our patients.”

The soft launch of MyChart Spanish will give staff the opportunity to test the system and workflow processes before actively marketing this new service to our Spanish-speaking patients and families.

“We’re excited to roll out MyChart Spanish for our multilingual patients, families and staff that interact with Texas Children’s for their patient experiences,” said Colleen Julien, Epic Patient Engagement manager for Texas Children’s Information Services. “We are appreciative of the Care Coordination initiative and Dr. Schwarzwald’s leadership. This project has been on our road map for many years and the project took off when Care Coordination made it an operational priority to offer MyChart in Spanish.”

Click here to read the MyChart Spanish FAQs. For more information about MyChart, visit texaschildrens.org/mychart.

September 10, 2018

What happens when 32 specialties at Wallace Tower, 16 specialties at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, and 51 Texas Children’s Pediatrics practices take part in their own “Shoot for the Stars” MyChart challenge? It means more patients and their families are signing up for My Chart, the hospital’s online patient portal.

Due to the tremendous success of the 5-week MyChart Madness Challenge in March – which generated close to 2,000 same-day MyChart activations across the hospital system – clinical staff launched a second competition to add to these successes, while engaging their teams around Texas Children’s Patient Access Initiative.

MyChart Instant Activation is one component of the Patient Access Initiative, which essentially pushes a text or email notification to patient families that allows them to sign up for a MyChart account via phone instead of having to use a computer to sign up. Patients are then able to access their personal health information, communicate directly with their care team at any time, and schedule their clinic appointments online.

The Shoot for the Stars My Chart Challenge began on July 23 and ended on August 31. The competition generated impressive results across the organization which has helped to improve access for our patients and their families.

Wallace Tower and The Woodlands

Over the course of five weeks, Wallace Tower generated a total of 979 same-day MyChart activations. Of the 32 participating clinics at Wallace Tower, the neurology team won with 204 same-day activations. Over the course of four weeks, The Woodlands campus generated 100 same-day activations with Dermatology winning the challenge.

Texas Children’s Pediatrics

Texas Children’s Pediatrics (TCP) conducted their own competition which began on July 23 and ended on September 2. TCP generated a total of 11,206 My Chart activations. Several practices won weekly and overall raffles including TCP Baytown, Cy-Fair, Lakewood, Pasadena, PMG and Sterling Ridge.

Texas Children’s Pediatrics also conducted a creative competition where each TCP practice designed a creative campaign to display the benefits of MyChart and encourage MyChart activation.

Here are the top three creative campaign winners:

  • TCP Pasadena – “MyChart is Out of this World”
  • TCP Heights – “Be Incredible…Sign Up for MyChart
  • TCP Rayford – “MyChart-Land”

Click here to view all of the MyChart campaign posters.

Patient access: Opening the door at Texas Children’s

Since launching this initiative in March, Texas Children’s has seen significant improvements in patient access across the hospital system. Several enhancements were implemented in waves across specialties which included:

  • Standard clinic sessions: After evaluating 944 provider templates, extra slots were found where physicians could see patients for a duration of four hours. By standardizing clinic sessions for all specialties across Texas Children’s, over 53,000 new appointments have been added to the system.
  • MyChart activation: In October 2017, the organization had less than 8,000 monthly MyChart activations. To date, we have now exceeded over 60 percent activation for MyChart throughout the system.
  • Direct scheduling: More than 100 patients have used this online feature that allows current patients to quickly and easily schedule appointments online on MyChart.
  • Electronic waitlist: This MyChart feature automatically offers up available appointments to patients desiring a sooner appointment. Since its implementation, over 300 patients have accepted an appointment on average 52 days earlier than their prior appointment.

Click here to watch this video that highlights our patient access journey and our recent accomplishments.

May 8, 2018

From our three hospital campuses to our health centers, urgent care and pediatric practices, Texas Children’s continues to focus its efforts on enhancing patient access. Since implementing solutions for the first two waves of specialties over the last two months, patient families are noticing a positive difference.

For Christina Williams, being able to schedule her 13-year-old son’s clinical appointment 21 days sooner than the originally scheduled appointment has been nothing but a game changer for her.

“I scheduled my son for an appointment in April to see an allergist at Texas Children’s Health Center in Sugar Land,” Williams said. “When I logged on to MyChart, I received an instant notification about an available opening in the Wallace Tower clinic and I quickly accepted it. This process is quick, easy and convenient, and it’s great knowing that I can be notified on MyChart as soon as an opening becomes available.”

First launched on March 19 with two subspecialties – Allergy and Immunology, and Baylor College of Medicine OB/GYN – MyChart’s electronic waitlist feature automatically offers patients and their families on the waitlist earlier appointments once their MyChart account has been activated.

Since the new feature went live for these two subspecialties in mid-March, there have been multiple offers accepted to help families get earlier clinical appointments. Below are the results as of April 30:

  • Combined acceptance rate of 8.2 percent for Allergy and Immunology, and Baylor OB/GYN with average day improvement of 56 days
  • Acceptance rate of 7.4 percent for Allergy and Immunology with average day improvement of 54 days
  • Acceptance rate of 10.7 percent for Baylor OB/GYN with average day improvement of 64 days.

The remaining Wave 1 specialties along with Wave 2 will go live with this new feature on May 21. These subspecialties are Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Neurology, Adolescent/Sports Medicine, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Pediatric Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthodontics, Plastic Surgery, Urology and Cardiology.

MyChart Instant Activation

While the nation was glued to the NCAA’s March Madness college basketball tournament, Texas Children’s remained focused on scoring patient access points during MyChart Madness.

On March 19, clinic staff at Mark Wallace Tower participated in a collaborative, 5-week MyChart Madness competition 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.

MyChart Instant Activation essentially pushes a text or email notification to patient families that allows them to sign up for a MyChart account via phone instead of having to use a computer to sign up.

“Out of the 32 participating clinics at Wallace Tower, a total of 1,096 same-day activations were generated as a result of MyChart Madness,” said Rachel Norman Brock, manager of Ambulatory Clinics at Texas Children’s. “The Urology team was the winner of the MyChart Madness competition with 118 same-day activations.”

During the first week of instant activation across the Texas Children’s hospital system, there were 3,492 same-day activations, almost half of which resulted from instant activation. To date, Texas Children’s has a total of 6,974 same-day activations thanks to our collaborative team efforts to enhance patient access.

Other strategies to improve patient access

Championed by administrative and physician leaders from medical, surgical, and women’s service lines, the Improved Capacity & Improved Utilization workgroup has been focused on ensuring that providers have appointments in their schedules for our patients when it is most convenient for them to be seen.

By first evaluating appointment templates and aligning provider schedules to a standard four-hour clinic session definition to ensure patients receive the service and availability they need, the organization was able to add over 36,000 new patient appointments annually into the system through Waves 1, 2 and 3 of the project. The team looks forward to additional slots as Wave 4 goes live on June 1.

“To date, the workgroup has partnered with 28 specialties and over 600+ providers to create increased appointment availability, particularly for new patients that are currently facing long waits to be seen in our clinics,” said Grace Karon, project manager for Ambulatory Services at Texas Children’s. “With these new appointment slots, the team is proud to be helping our patients access the care that they need.”

March 29, 2018

While the nation is glued to their TVs watching the NCAA’s “March Madness” college basketball tournament, Texas Children’s is focused on scoring patient access points during MyChart Madness.

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.

Fast Pass

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.”

January 20, 2015

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MyChart, the online patient portal that allows patients or their parents to access health information from Epic, recently underwent significant improvements and enhancements.

Now, patient families can:

  • Sign up for MyChart in their doctors’ offices and receive access the same day (with a few exceptions
  • Request, confirm and cancel appointments online
  • Review appointment history, chronic illnesses, medical and surgical history, allergies, medications and after-visit summaries
  • Email non-urgent medical questions to providers
  • Request prescription renewals online
  • Complete medical questionnaires prior to appointments

The increased use of MyChart by Texas Children’s patient families will help providers stay connected to their patients, improve patient care and save time.
Here’s how:

  • MyChart is an effective tool for patient engagement, leading to better outcomes. The more patient families are involved in their care, the better their outcomes.
  • MyChart allows easy login – whether on a computer or a smart phone – so patient families can see their health information and review comments from their physicians.
  • MyChart enhances how physicians communicate directly with their patients, by allowing conversations to occur online and at times that are convenient for the physician and the patient. This direct communication helps patient families feel connected to their care providers.
  • MyChart improves the patient experience by allowing easier access to their health information, such as after visit summaries, immunization histories and more.
  • MyChart promotes efficiency by decreasing the need for printing, mailing and faxing patient information.

“We are excited about the changes that have been made to MyChart during the last six months,” said Dr. Joan Shook, Texas Children’s chief clinical information officer. “Now it’s time for us to enlist all the Texas Children’s medical staff and employees to help us encourage our patient families to sign up and use MyChart.”

If you want to watch the MyChart video outside of the organization on our YouTube channel, click here.

For more information about MyChart, visit the links below:
My Chart Overview
Clinical MyChart Workflows
Workflow and Instructions for Responding to Patient Emails
Details about Outpatient After Visit Summary (AVS)
Results Release

Results Release Tip Sheet
eLearning Results Release Tutorial
PowerPoint Results Release Tutorial

Details about Blocked Lab Results and Sharing Letters

Details about History Questionnaires

Functionality for the Teen Patient and Teen Proxy

July 15, 2014

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In our high-tech world, communication should be quick, easy and convenient – and there’s no exception when it comes to accessing your child’s medical records.

Texas Children’s recently improved online patient portal called MyChart provides secure access to your child’s lab results, medications, allergies, immunizations and other pertinent health information. If you need to request a doctor’s appointment, renew prescriptions or email questions to your child’s health care provider, you can do it with a simple click of the mouse.

“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, assistant director, Enterprise Systems Clinical, at Texas Children’s. “We want to continue to create a positive experience for our patients and their families, while delivering the highest level of care possible.”

MyChart is a free service offered to patients at Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Hospital and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Several recent enhancements were made to improve the site:

  • Online history questionnaires – This form is available on MyChart a week before your child’s appointment. Filling it out early will allow physicians to review your child’s medical history a few days before the scheduled visit.
  • Health summary downloads –Your child’s health information can be downloaded from MyChart onto a portable CD or USB drive.
  • Improved online after-visit summary – You will receive an email notification when the after-visit summary report is available on your child’s MyChart account.

“MyChart’s email capabilities help physicians and staff respond more efficiently to a child’s medical needs by providing direct communication between the parent and their child’s health care provider,” said Dr. Joan Shook, chief safety officer and director of Emergency Medicine services at Texas Children’s. “Our digital data storage system helps us preserve patients’ health information for convenient retrieval thereby reducing the potential risk of damage or misplacement.”

Patient safety, efficiency and positive patient experience are what MyChart is all about. If you haven’t signed up, the enrollment process is simple and takes only a few minutes to complete.

Click here to learn more about MyChart.