New, Interactive Online System Helps Patients Take More Active Role in Health Care

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Whether you’re managing a chronic health condition or just having annual check-ups, you may have wished for a personal health assistant—someone to remind you what your doctor said at your last visit or prompt you to schedule your mammogram. Today, Salem Health launched an interactive online system that does this and more—helping its clinic patients communicate electronically with their care teams and take a more active role in their health care. MyChart is part of Salem Health’s advanced medical records system that reduces the chance of errors and increases patient safety; Salem Hospital is one of only 191 U.S. hospitals—3.5 percent—with systems this advanced.

New, interactive online system helps patients take more active role in health care

MyChart @ Salem Health is an interactive online system that helps patients check with their care team, schedule appointments, get health reminders and more.

Now my patients can contact me directly and I can check on how they’re doing with their health goals—even between visits.

Salem Health launched today a new, interactive electronic medical records system that allows patients to communicate with their care team and take a more active role in their health care.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this new benefit at no extra charge to our patients,” says Dr. Kyla Pepper, a family medicine physician with Salem Health's medical group, Willamette Health Partners. “Now my patients can contact me directly and I can check on how they’re doing with their health goals—even between visits.”

With the online system, MyChart @ Salem Health, patients of Willamette Health Partners clinics can safely and securely access their medical information. The system lets patients

  • E-mail their health care providers
  • Schedule or cancel appointments
  • Access test results
  • View records of past appointments, medications and immunizations
  • Request prescription refills
  • Track progress on health goals like blood pressure or pain level

The patient’s information is shared with the care team, and providers can be alerted when a symptom being tracked, like blood pressure, goes outside an acceptable range.

Salem Hospital and West Valley Hospital patients can access discharge instructions and their medication list once they leave the hospital.

MyChart @ Salem Health is part of Salem Health’s effort to become fully electronic and represents one of the final stages in this progression. Salem Health’s advancement in this initiative has made the local health system a leader in electronic medical records; Salem Hospital is one of only 191 U.S. hospitals—3.5 percent—that are at this stage. Becoming fully electronic means a reduced chance of errors and increased patient safety.

“Our leadership position in technology means we’re able to provide even better patient care,” says Joe DaFoe, a registered nurse and director of the Salem Hospital ER. “When patients can look up their instructions for follow-up care, they are more likely to take their medicine correctly and recognize signs that they need extra help. This helps them avoid dangerous complications and recover more quickly.”

Willamette Health Partners patients can sign up for access to MyChart @ Salem Health at their next office visit or by calling for activation instructions. Patients receiving care at Salem Hospital or West Valley Hospital will be given activation instructions when they leave the hospital.

For even more patient convenience, MyChart @ Salem Health is also available as a mobile app for iPhones. More information can be found at salemhealth.org/mychart.

Salem Health includes Salem Hospital, West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners, and other affiliated health care organizations offering quality care to people in and around Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

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Julie Howard