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‘We See MyChart as Essential’: UMass Memorial Puts Care in Patients’ Hands During the Pandemic

UMass Memorial increases MyChart signups by 54% and makes it easier for patients to stay safe

Everyday health needs don’t take a break during a pandemic, so health systems like UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, Massachusetts, are adding virtual options to nearly every step of the healthcare experience to help patients connect to care while staying safe. UMass Memorial patients can schedule visits, check in, see test results, and visit with providers online, and enrollment for MyChart has jumped from 26% to 40% since last year. Use of eCheck-in before appointments has nearly tripled since January.

“We see MyChart as essential now so patients and providers can maintain a connection while staying socially distant,” said Eileen Yanchewski, UMass Memorial’s MyChart lead. “Early on in the pandemic, we decided to go full steam ahead to get as many people signed up as possible.”

Now, much of a patient’s care at UMass Memorial can be done virtually. Patients can:

  • Schedule video visits with their doctors.
  • Schedule a COVID-19 test and see the test results.
  • Check in and take care of paperwork and co-pays touch-free.
  • Stay in touch with their doctors and their loved ones during a hospital stay using a MyChart Bedside tablet.

Clinicians and staff were coached on how to sign patients up, and at UMass Memorial’s COVID-19 testing site, they can give patients a sign-up flier to help them get started. Patients who haven’t signed up for MyChart also receive reminder emails or texts with a sign-up link when they check in for an appointment or leave the hospital.

“It was an organization-wide effort to make sure patients understood the value of MyChart during the pandemic,” said Dianna Caffarena, UMass Memorial’s SVP of ambulatory services. “We’re invested in helping patients take advantage of all the virtual options that are available.”

Epic community members can learn about strategies for increasing MyChart adoption on the UserWeb.