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Knowledge is power, and now patients across the country are starting to have more timely access to their health information.
U.S. health care providers are making Electronic Health Information (EHI) more accessible to patients. Providers are required to share this data with patients faster to comply with the 21st Century Cures Act and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Policies and Technology for Interoperability and Burden Reduction.
Patients will notice changes at MD Anderson, too. Patient and Family Advisors’ input helped MD Anderson leaders determine changes to sharing information in MyChart.
All notes are now released automatically in MyChart. Also, most lab, test and exam results are now released immediately, with only some released after two business days.
“I think releasing the records as soon as possible to MyChart is best. As far as I’m concerned, the more information I have, the easier it is to make a decision and talk to the doctor about it,” says Art Zapata, survivor and member of MD Anderson’s Patient and Family Advisor Program.
Learn how to view your results and notes and how to use this information to manage your care.
How to view your notes
In the web version of MyChart, click on Appointments and Visits. Look under Past Visits. You can view notes after a clinic visit. You can also view notes after being admitted to the hospital. Look for Hospital Visit. Hospital notes are sorted by admission date.
In the mobile MyChart app, go to Appointments. Click on the visit you want to see. Then click on the View Notes.
Before, only clinic notes were viewable. Now, you can view these notes automatically in MyChart:
- Clinic notes
- Hospital notes
- Acute Cancer Care Center notes
- Sensitive notes (such as psychology notes)
- Private notes (such as certain psychiatry notes)
How to view your test results
In MyChart, go to Test results. Your provider may send you a message if they want to share their comments about test results with you. Some test results may not be viewable with the mobile app.
Previously, test results were released within five business days. Now, these results are released immediately:
- General labs
- Pulmonary exams
- Cardiology exams
- Screening mammograms
Pathology, cytopathology and diagnostic imaging are released two business days after they are final. Once final, they are released in batches at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. You will receive them soon after the batch is released.
If you’re staying in the hospital, your test results are available in MyChart daily at 9 a.m. Pathology, cytopathology and diagnostic imaging results will be included in MyChart at 9 a.m., after two business days.
COVID-19 test results will continue to be released immediately so patients and employees have information to make decisions about whether to come to campus for their appointment and for work.
What to do when choosing to review instant information
You may see results before your clinical team has reviewed them. You do not have to view those results; you may prefer to wait to discuss them with your provider. If you send a message about your results before your visit, your care team may wait to discuss your questions with you during the visit.
Here are tips from our Patient and Family Advisors:
- Check labs before your appointment or before your doctor rounds in the hospital.
- Write down questions in advance before you talk to your care team at your clinic visit.
- What do the results mean?
- Will the results will affect your treatment?
- What are the next steps?
- Consider waiting to view scans until you can talk to your care team to explain what they’re seeing.
- Consider that your provider may wish to consult with colleagues regarding your results prior to your visit in order to be best prepared to explain your results, possible next steps and options.
Many patient advisors said they do not want to review scan results before they talk to their doctor.
MD Anderson encourages patients to learn how to use MyChart to view your health information and manage your care. MyChart support is available at 1-877-632-6789, option 3. Review this handout for learning how to navigate MyChart.
You can access MyChart resources on the login screen of MyChart.mdanderson.org.