Friday, February 10, 2012

Using technology to get to Better Health, Better Care and Lower Cost

The time-honored way of meeting face-to-face with your physician is a marvelous thing for patients and it is required, but not for every case and every situation.  There should be a way to have a communication other than face to face about follow-ups, minor medical issues, lab results and other simple things.  There should also be a way other than by making a phone call to make an appointment.  If we expect patients to better take charge of their health, they have to have easier access to their medical records.

Patients have historically not had a way to interact with the healthcare system and their provider other than face-to-face or via the phone.  But now, across the Greater Baltimore Medical Associates physician practices on the GBMC campus and in locations across the region, there is such a way – introducing “myGBMC” ( – our brand-new patient portal that went live January 31. “myGBMC” gives patients the ability to take a more active role in managing their healthcare and offers instant, around-the-clock, password-protected access to their personal health information.

“myGBMC” is a free service available to current GBMC patients. It is a personalized, secure communication link between patients and their physician's office that provides convenient, 24-hour access as well as online tools to help manage care more effectively. A similar portal will soon be available to patients of private practice primary care physicians who are part of the Greater Baltimore Health Alliance (GBHA) (See “Adding Great Players To Our Team”, August 26, 2011)

Our goal is to keep patients informed and involved in their healthcare every step of the way!

Through “myGBMC”, patients can confidentially and safely:

· Access their personal medical record.
· Communicate with their physician's office.
· View recent laboratory results, medication lists and health summaries.
· Request prescription refills and referral renewal.
· Update their personal information, and more!

The patient portal is patient–centered and is another way that using healthcare technology gets us closer to our vision of the Triple Aim - Better Health, Better Care, and Lower Cost in the eyes of the patient.  This is part of our transformational work to get us closer to our vision of being the healthcare system where every patient, every time gets the care that we would want for our own loved ones. (Review our vision statement)

Since its launch last week, our practices have web-enabled more than 2,350 patients on the “myGBMC” portal (not including more than 1,000 patients of the Hunt Valley practice which went live as the pilot site in mid-November 2011), evidence that our new tool is proving very popular with patients.

In the words of Hunt Valley patient Ken Drews,

“The changes that have taken place at GBMC Hunt Valley have all been very positive. “myGBMC” has been a terrific addition to the medical service that they offer.  By accessing the patient portal I am able to obtain important information such as test results and examination information.  I am also able to see my history with regards to visits and diagnoses.  Because medical care is a group effort I am now able to be more actively involved in monitoring my medical conditions and needs.  The patient portal is definitely the start of a new and important era in health care.  I feel like medicine and technology are now more closely combined than ever before.”

Well said Ken!

We are very excited about this and need to thank our doctors, nurses, clinicians, people working in the practices and all the IT staff who worked hard to get “myGBMC” launched. A big “kudos” especially to Julie Gabriele and the GBMA Applications Team, the Marketing Department, the Hunt Valley practice (practice manager Robyn Schaffer), and Mary Phillips who coordinated the GBMA leadership and training.

If you are a “myGBMC” user and want a refresher of how to navigate through the portal, or are not yet a GBMA patient and want to take a video tour of “myGBMC”, click

Have you used the “myGBMC” portal yet? What do you think about it? What ideas do you have for other ways that healthcare technology can be implemented to help patients? Please share your thoughts below.

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