Electronic Health Records
Powering Better Patient Care
Your complete health record is available electronically for you and your physician.
Springfield Clinic’s physician practices use a state-ofthe-art technology called electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs essentially replace the paperbased charts that are currently used to record and store patient-specific health information. They are tools that provide more accurate, up-todate, and readily available personal health information to help your physicians better care for you.
Q & A
What is an electronic health record?
An electronic health record (EHR) is an electronic document that contains a patient’s complete health history – from childhood immunizations and allergies to adult surgeries and diagnoses. It includes information like test and imaging results, medication history and physicians’ notes. It’s basically an electronic version of the traditional paper chart.
Why is an electronic health record better than a paper chart?
A paper chart exists in a single, physical location, and is typically difficult to share, even within a single office. Further, it can become quite large and complex over time. EHRs, however, are accessed through the Internet, and can be securely viewed at any time and from any place. Additionally, EHRs are connected to a library of medical information that can help physicians make diagnoses and develop treatment plans based on the latest medical research.
What benefits do EHRs provide to me?
EHRs will make your office visit much more efficient and thorough by providing the following advantages:
- Your health information is easily retrievable – at any time – by only your authorized clinicians and physicians
- Your health history is automatically updated each time you visit your physician’s office
- Electronic records are more easily understood than cumbersome – and oftentimes illegible – paper charts
- Secure technology protects your privacy
- Improved quality of care without increased costs
How can an EHR make the care I receive more efficient?
Providers will no longer need to search or wait for your patient chart. In addition, lab results and X-rays will be sent electronically to your physicians as soon as they are completed, for immediate analysis, diagnosis and treatment.
Should I expect any changes when I visit my physician’s office as a result of EHRs becoming available?
There are two main changes you are likely to notice:
- Initially, your visit to the office might be slightly longer than usual, as our staff adjusts to the EHR system. Please be aware that our initial investment in time will pay off in future efficiencies for you.
- Your physician will view and enter your health information using a computer or “tablet” in the exam room. While it may look different, your physician is using the electronic device to enter the same information he or she would write on the traditional, paper chart.
Who can access my electronic health record?
Your EHR is very secure. Only participating medical practices that you have chosen can access your information. All EHR information is stored on secure technology within the Springfield Clinic’s electronic network.
Can I access my own electronic health record?
During an office visit, you and your physician can jointly review your electronic health record. You may also access your medical information by registering to use our secure patient portal, myHealth@SC. More information is available at www.SpringfieldClinic.com/myHealthAtSC.
Is Springfield Clinic building its own EHR system?
Springfield Clinic utilizes Allscripts’ TouchWorks Electronic Health Record system. It is an awardwinning, well-established product that has received high ratings in surveys conducted by the health care community. Springfield Clinic’s EHR system is well respected and customized to meet the unique needs of the Clinic – all in an effort to provide better care to you.
Are other physician offices making EHRs available?
Springfield Clinic was on the cutting edge of implementing this technology in 2008. Today, Springfield Clinic’s EHR network has grown to maintaining not only its own records, but an entire consortium of health care providers in the central Illinois region.
Is this effort part of our nation’s endeavor to make health records electronic?
The use of appropriate technology in health care is a way to improve the quality of care and control health care costs. In early 2000, the government set a goal to establish electronic health records for most Americans within 10 years, and Springfield Clinic has diligently followed that plan.
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myHealth@SC Patient Portal
myHealth@SC is Springfield Clinic's personal patient portal. For more information or to sign up, visit our myHealth@SC info page.