myLoyola and Your Electronic Medical Record
The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) has become an essential part of modern medicine. Physicians are able to receive their patients' test results as soon as soon as they are available and have immediate access to patient medical records. Medical care across specialties is made seamless with the EMR, as physicians are able to see what other professionals have done or recommended to patients. Hospital systems are able to communicate with each other, making it possible for doctors to see notes and test results from emergency room visits or procedures at other hospitals. The ability of physicians to view the EMR anywhere at any time makes the process of providing the best possible medical care even easier.
One aspect of the EMR that is particularly useful for both patients and their physicians at Loyola Medicine is the myLoyola portal. MyLoyola gives patients a unique sign-up code to enable them to create a private account, allowing them to view test results, communicate with their physician or provider, check on or schedule upcoming appointments and track the need for tests, vaccinations and screenings. With all of these features housed in a single location online, patients and their physicians are able to save time while still maintaining high-quality medical care.
Many doctors across the Loyola Medicine system, including myself, are encouraging their patients to sign up for myLoyola. Sign-up is simple and can be done from the doctor's office or from home. The portal makes it very easy for your doctor to send test results with a message and a plan for treatment, if necessary. It also allows patients to keep track of the tests they completed and the outcomes. Of course, myLoyola does not replace those situations where a phone call or face-to-face conversation are more appropriate. It does eliminate countless rounds of phone tag for patients with busy lives. MyLoyola is also very helpful for young people that are going off to college - the portal makes it very easy for them to ask questions at their convenience on a private, protected platform. On the physician's end, they can answer questions during downtime throughout the day.
As a physician, some of my favorite myLoyola encounters are when a patient is just checking in. If a new medication or treatment plan is started, I will often ask them to let me know how they are doing in three to six months or so. This is just another example of the ease myLoyola provides when facilitating the transfer of information through the system. At the same time, many patients will give me an update on their family or other aspects of their life, which gives me the opportunity to connect with my patients on a deeper level.
In general, myLoyola is a wonderful tool for both patients and physicians and I would encourage everyone to try it!
Karen J. Deighan, MD, is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Medical Center, where she also serves as the associate residency program director. Dr. Deighan is chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Her clinical interests include menopause and natural family planning.
Dr. Deighan earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago College of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics & gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center.