Introducing Care Connect

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1 Introducing Care Connect Our NEW Electronic Medical Record System

2 Rochester General Health System (RGHS) is working hard to achieve its vision to become this community s healthcare provider of choice, the most trusted provider in the region. The launch of Care Connect, RGHS s new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Practice Management system, brings us significantly closer to making this happen. Care Connect will transition RGHS from a combination of independent paper-based and computer-based patient record systems to a single, fully-integrated electronic system that will significantly enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and safety of the care we provide to our patients. As importantly, it will improve collaboration between RGHS healthcare team members, resulting in an even greater care experience for you and your family. What You Can Expect RGHS is introducing Care Connect in stages over the next two years, with our first Go-Live occurring on November 5, 2011 at Rochester General Hospital and certain practices within our Rochester General Medical Group. As you can imagine, this transition requires a number of technological, clinical, and administrative changes to occur across all aspects of our care delivery process. Therefore, during our Go-Live period, you may experience some temporary delays during your visit as our staff becomes acclimated to this new system. You may also notice extra staff near and around your doctor s office and other patient care areas. They are there to help your medical team continue to provide the highest levels of service possible while transitioning to the new system. Additionally, once the new system is fully operational, you will notice some changes to our medical and billing procedures. You may also be asked to re-submit certain privacy, consent, patient insurance, and other information forms, so we may input this data into our new system. We are working hard to minimize any patient inconveniences or frustrations that may result because of these changes. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and patience during these temporary adjustments. We are confident that the long-term patient care benefits and enhancements that Care Connect will bring far outweigh any short-term challenges you may experience. As always, thank you for choosing Rochester General Health System! One patient. One record. One great health system.

3 Our new electronic medical record (EMR) system integrates your medical history, test results, images, consult notes, and more into one electronic chart. With secure access to your most current health information, your providers can work more efficiently and effectively while improving the safety and overall quality of your care. Our electronic medical record system has a track record of success at other major hospitals nationwide, but it s new to us. We appreciate your patience as we adapt to it and encourage you to ask questions. This brochure provides an overview of our Care Connect EMR and what it means to you and your care. This information is also available on our website at What is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)? An EMR is a computerized version of a patient s medical chart. It brings together much of the information that is traditionally written on paper forms and securely stores it digitally within one record. Your EMR includes information about past medical appointments, diagnostic testing and lab results, surgical procedures, hospitalizations, prescriptions, allergies, immunizations, and other medical facts. It also includes digitized x-rays and other diagnostic scan images, such as CT scans or MRIs. Your EMR is designed to contain everything there is to know about your medical history. Approved healthcare providers can access information in an EMR by logging in to a secure computer network. EMRs offer quick and easy access to volumes of information. Because information is added to EMRs by typing on a keyboard or clicking a mouse versus handwriting, they are easier to read than paper charts, which reduces the chance of miscommunication or mistakes. Advanced security measures ensure that only those who are helping to provide your care can view your record. Why is Rochester General Health System (RGHS) implementing the Care Connect EMR? The quality and safety of your care is our first priority at RGHS and Care Connect will allow us to carefully and consistently document and retrieve information that is vital to providing your care. Care Connect will put all important information about your hospital stay and medical history in one secure place which can be easily viewed by your healthcare team, helping us respond quickly and effectively to your needs. Care Connect helps us work smarter, better, and faster, which translates into improvements in quality and safety for you. While we are excited about the potential this technology has to help us improve our processes, we know that electronic medical records do not replace the compassionate and sophisticated medical care that you deserve, and that can only be provided by trusted healthcare professionals. RGHS is committed to providing even better, safer care that can contribute to lower healthcare costs, and Care Connect will help make this happen. As an RGHS patient, you will have one medical record that will follow you throughout our Rochester, Wayne County, and other regional locations. Your RGHS doctors and other members of your healthcare team will have your complete history at their fingertips so you won t need to repeatedly provide information to multiple healthcare providers and staff. You should, however, expect that your providers will confirm and review the information in your record. What changes can I expect during my first visit with an RGHS provider? To ensure that your medical information is kept up to date, your provider may spend some additional time with you to update your electronic record during your office appointment or hospital visit. Members of your healthcare team are also working behind the scenes to transition your current patient information to Care Connect. Care Connect gives you and each of your providers secure, convenient access to your most current health information resulting in a better and safer care experience for all. If everything is stored in the computer, why do I have to provide information more than once? Although you won t have to start from scratch and provide the same information each time, we may occasionally ask questions to ensure that your information is up to date. This is a great advantage over paper charts, where you most likely were asked to provide the same information repeatedly by different providers, who recorded it numerous times on various forms.

4 Care Connect Benefits SAfETy: Instructions, results, and orders are displayed in printed type, not handwritten, so information is always clear. Drug interactions and allergies are also noted on the record. EvEn better CooRdinATion of CARE: The many professionals who may be involved in your care can easily access your medical information and update it every time you have an appointment, emergency room visit, or hospital stay. MoRE PERSonAlizEd CARE: Patients of RGHS primary care providers can review their electronic medical record, communicate with their health care team, pay medical bills, and more with our safe and secure patient portal MyCare. CoST-EffECTivEnESS: The need for duplicate tests is minimized because all test results are easily accessible by your entire healthcare team. MoRE ToolS To MAnAGE your HEAlTH: After every outpatient visit or hospital stay, you will receive a summary of your most recent RGHS visit, as well as related health information to help you manage your health and ongoing care. EMERGEnCy CARE: Your EMR can reflect your wants, needs, and treatments even when you might not be able to remember or speak for yourself. What will this change mean for me and my family? You will see more computers throughout patient care areas, including at the bedside in patient rooms. Doctors, nurses, and staff will be using Care Connect on the computer while they are spending time with you. They will be checking for the most current information about you and may also be adding information such as notes on your progress, orders for medication or tests, or vital signs such as your blood pressure and temperature. Everything in the Care Connect system is utilized to improve the quality and effectiveness of your care. While it may take time to adjust to your providers using a computer while caring for you, you will benefit from their quick access to your information. For example, Care Connect will tell them when your lab results are available without having to place a call or check other locations for paperwork. With your complete medical record now at their fingertips, your providers will have a more complete picture of you and your health status, and will be able to care for you more effectively. Will I be able to see my medical record with Care Connect? Yes, unlike paper charts, which patients typically do not have access to, Care Connect enables your provider to share certain aspects of your health information with you electronically, such as test results and medication records, during your appointment. As always, patients can also request a full copy of their electronic medical record at any time. Will I have the ability to access my own medical record or a family member s record? Care Connect features a secure online patient portal that enables patients of RGHS primary care providers to conveniently and securely view portions of their RGHS Electronic Medical Record (EMR) anywhere they have computer access. Called MyCare, this feature gives patients the opportunity to become even more effective participants in their own healthcare. Additionally, parents, legal guardians, and adult children can have what is called proxy access to a minor child s or elderly parent s EMR, but there are some restrictions. To learn more about the MyCare feature and whether it s available to you, contact your RGHS primary care provider.

5 Can my doctors and other members of my healthcare team who are not part of RGHS also access my EMR? Yes. Many community physicians who are involved in your care and who refer you to RGHS will be able to access your electronic medical record though a web-based portal called CareLink. This allows them to have up-todate information about your care at RGHS when you return to them for follow-up care. To ensure privacy, your provider can only access these records with your written consent, which is valid for five years. Who else can see what s in my EMR? Any RGHS physician or other provider who is involved in your care has access to your EMR, as authorized by you upon registration or hospital admission. All of the data in the EMR is encrypted, so anyone who is not authorized to access your information will not be allowed access. Your records are used by your healthcare team to ensure you are provided with comprehensive and coordinated care. Your healthcare team is defined as physicians, nurses, therapists, technicians, and any other staff who are involved in your care. What changes can I expect regarding billing? In addition to the many care-related benefits that our new EMR will bring to patients, you can also expect some significant improvements to our administrative and billing processes. Scheduling and registration will be streamlined and simplified, resulting in faster service and better coordination of your Rochester General appointments. Additionally, instead of receiving multiple bills from different Rochester General departments, you will now receive a single and combined billing statement representing all of your Rochester General costs. And, you can even pay your bill online at What about privacy? Your privacy is our primary concern. RGHS complies with all privacy and security laws for the protection of health information. The same laws that protect your privacy with paper charts apply to EMRs. Only people involved in your care can log in to the system and see your information. Your chart is locked until your providers log in to access your records. When they are done, they log out. For additional safety, the system automatically logs out a provider if he/ she is not actively using it for a brief period of time. Should you have questions about the privacy of your health information, you can request the Notice of Privacy Practices brochure, available at any RGHS registration or information desk. What if the computer crashes and my information is lost? Care Connect is powered by Epic, a leading healthcare software company with an award-winning track record of success. In fact, similar Epic EMR systems are used at top medical centers around the country. Care Connect has builtin back-ups that continually store and save information. While we may have occasional glitches at our computer stations, this robust back-up system ensures that your information is preserved. If you have additional questions about Care Connect please contact your RGHS primary care provider. He or she will be happy to answer any questions you may have about EMRs and Care Connect. You can also learn more online at Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY Rochester General Health System

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