June 18, 2013
Your relationship to your patients continues when you refer them to Johns Hopkins for specialty care. But in the past, keeping tabs on the care your patients receive hasn’t always been easy. With outpatient settings, you might have received faxes to the office or regular postal mail. For inpatient care, it might have been a notice that your patient has been admitted and a discharge summary. There was no easy way to gather more information, and the system left little room for interaction.
But change is coming. Johns Hopkins is launching the electronic medical record and billing system known as Epic. Part of this new system, Johns Hopkins CareLink, will give you a larger window into the care your patients receive once they enter the Hopkins system, providing an interactive way to access far more information about a patient’s visit.
“Epic allows us to take better care of our patients in a more comprehensive way,” says otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon Matt Kashima, “and communicating with other providers is a pivotal part.”
Johns Hopkins CareLink, Kashima explains, is a free online portal that allows referring physicians to have real-time access to a wealth of information on patient care. Physicians with an account and identified as a member of a patient’s care team will have the ability to receive alerts about their patients’ outpatient visits and hospital admissions and discharges, allowing easier discharge planning. They’ll not only receive a discharge summary, but they’ll also be able to view the patient’s chart, including test results, imaging reports and the entire episode of care. Rather than add to the mountain of paperwork that piles up in the office, this information will be completely electronic and instant. And, to make the physician’s job easier, office medical and administrative staff also can be granted access.
The new system is also highly interactive. Physicians logged on to the portal will be able to send secure messages to Johns Hopkins providers with questions or comments about their patients’ care and order consults with Johns Hopkins specialists.
Enrollment began May 13; access to patients’ information begins July 1. For more information and enrollment instructions, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org/carelink. Enrollment is quick and easy. Once you have enrolled, you and your office colleagues will receive a log-in and password and can take brief online training and receive technical support 24/7 by calling 855-284-5465.