Friday, September 22, 2017

MyChart Bedside and the Era of Consumerism in Healthcare – We Need Your Feedback

We live in the age of technology and an era of consumerism in healthcare where everyone is connected and bombarded with enormous amounts of information on a daily basis. But how do we use technology to keep people interested and engaged? At GBMC, we’re always looking for ways to improve patient care and better meet the needs of our patients.

Toward that end, in our hospital we have begun testing a new tool that is part of the EPIC system called MyChart Bedside. Some of you may be familiar with MyChart at GBMC, a way to connect to your personal patient records through an app or online. The MyChart Bedside tool is an extension of this technology that two units – U25/26 postpartum and U48 surgical – are testing with inpatients. Patients on these units are being presented with an iPad that has the tool loaded. Nurses are encouraging patients to explore the app, login to their existing MyChart account or create a new account. Through the iPad, patients can participate in their care by accessing education and information, what to expect when they’re discharged, find test results, and even watch movies.

So, what we really want to know from patients who have used the MyChart Bedside tool at GBMC is:

How did you like it?

Did you use it?

Did you dislike it? If so, why? And…

What should we add to MyChart Bedside that would really add value for you?

On the Postpartum unit, Jodie Bell, BSN, RNC, IBCLC, Clinical Director, Postpartum and Newborn Nursery, explains that more than 90 percent of patients are presented with the MyChart Bedside iPad upon admission. They have started documenting this program on their LDM board to hone in on how patients are using the MyChart Bedside tool during their stay. What they have found is that patients on this unit are using the program for:

  1. Obtaining health metrics such as vital signs and lab results.
  2. Looking up information about the medication they are taking and when doses are due.
  3. Accessing education topics such as recovery, care at home, and caring for the baby.
  4. Creating a MyChart account. Jodie says that they rarely see patients leave the hospital without having an existing MyChart account or creating a new one. 

Jodie adds, “MyChart Bedside can also be used for fun. Patients and family members can use the iPads to access movies, for example, which also helps occupy older kids when mom and dad are caring for the new baby. Patients can use social media, browse online or even put in non-urgent requests for things like blankets or ice.

Ashley Dickenson, RN, shows the MyChart Bedside app on an iPad on U25/26.
The nurses are also really good at providing iPads to all of our patients and encouraging them to use the tool. And while we’re seeing that most patients like the technology, some patients find they don’t have time to use the tool while caring for themselves or a new baby, or have not found the technology particularly useful. Overall, however, it’s been well received and we are looking to optimize the iPads based on feedback from patients. This includes adding a breastfeeding app and an app where people can order meals directly from Food Service instead of calling in orders by phone.”

The usefulness of this technology for our surgical patients, however, is still in question. On U48, we are seeing mixed results with MyChart Bedside. Some patients love it. Others don’t use it at all.

Ceil Gayhardt, RN, BSN, Clinical Manager on U48, explains:

“The challenge for us is to get our short stay patients engaged with the tool since they come to us sleepy and often have narcotics or anesthesia still on board, making them less than receptive to engage with MyChart Bedside. The bariatric service is focused on telling their patients about it ahead of time and encouraging them to interact, so that helps.

On the surgical unit, our goals are to give patients a means in which to be more interactive with their care.  It can be a way for patients or their families to access information about their procedure, medications, real time vital signs, or upcoming tests. Patient education is also at their fingertips. Education that was traditionally done one-on-one with the nurse is loaded onto the iPad so patients can view the information when it’s convenient for them. This also allows for multiple presentations of the material since the nurse reviews the information with the patient as well.  This is important since it often takes multiple presentations of material for patients to absorb or retain the information as they are in an altered state of health.”

Dr. Elizabeth Dovec, Medical Director of the GBMC Comprehensive Obesity Management Program, took a quick poll of some of her bariatric surgery patients on U48 to see what they thought of MyChart Bedside. Special bariatric surgery videos are preloaded onto the iPads for these patients to watch post-surgery. Here is some of the feedback she received:

  • “I really enjoyed it. It allowed me to take my time and go through each slide so I didn’t have to feel rushed into obtaining a lot of information all at once the day after my procedure.”
  • “Very informative and it was seen at the right time while recovering in my room. Convenient. You can learn and feel more confident of the process going forward.”
  • “I watched them and I was able to look at my relevant patient information. It was more valuable on the day of discharge. I was out of it the day of surgery.”
  • “I loved the videos. Being tired from surgery and anesthesia, I found the videos to be a positive affirmation and a way to solidify key points, briefly and succinctly. Very useful. Thumbs up!”
  • “I received an iPad but I was so out of it when they told me what it was for that I didn't remember and forgot to use it when I was there.”


It’s been an interesting test of a program that is designed to be innovative, interactive, and convenient for patients.  But, how well is this tool working for patients?

This is your opportunity to share your experiences with MyChart Bedside or even if you have not yet used the tool to give your ideas of things you would like to see added if you were to be a patient. How can GBMC better utilize this tool for inpatients? Did you love it, hate it, or even ignore it? I’d love to hear from you on this topic. Leave your comments and experiences below in the comments section.


On a final note, this Saturday, September 23rd, is the 17th annual Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs, which benefits GBMC’s oncology services and patient support programs. This is always a wonderful community and family event. Be sure to join us on Saturday – get all of the information here:

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