Pamela N MyChart Patient Platform Gives Woman Vital Health Information

“MyChart is very informative and efficient. Every time a test result comes in, I go to MyChart and can look at my results. I think it’s great.”

As a patient with heart disease who has had multiple doctor visits and several procedures over the last few years, Pamela Nash became accustomed to being on hold—waiting on the phone to get test results, hear answers to questions, schedule checkups or refill prescriptions.

But now she enjoys quick online access to her health information and providers through a patient portal that went live last October at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset.

The portal is a patient engagement platform called MyChart that gives patients access to their medical records and allows them to communicate electronically with providers to better manage their care. MyChart is part of an electronic health records (EHR) system called Epic that is rolling out across the RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) system over two years.

“MyChart is very informative and efficient,” says Nash, 65, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist in Bridgewater. “Every time a test result comes in, I go to MyChart and can look at my results. I think it’s great.”

Coordinated Care

MyChart is particularly useful in tracking and coordinating care among RWJBH providers and non-system providers who also use the Epic system. It proved helpful when Nash received care in another state in November 2021 after experiencing chest pain.

Sharan Mahal, MD
Sharan Mahal, MD

“The coordination of care between RWJUH Somerset and the other hospital—both of them on Epic—was just fantastic,” says cardiologist Sharan Mahal, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology at RWJUH Somerset and a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. “We could do all her labs here, and they could see them there. When we performed a nuclear stress test, that report was available to them. When they did an angiogram on her, I could see the results right away.”

Sharing access to patient records helps doctors save time and improve care. “We don’t have to call other physicians to fax over lab results,” Dr. Mahal explains. “I can see them on the system. If they have notes, I can see those as well. MyChart prevents delay, helps provide more accurate diagnoses and reduces the need for repeat, unnecessary testing.”

Active Participation

In the past, much of this information was not available to patients. “A lot of patients love MyChart be cause they can see their cholesterol, see their sugars or reread what a doctor recommended if they for got,” Dr. Mahal says. “It makes patients more active participants in their care.”

Nash now routinely uses MyChart to refill prescriptions, pay medical bills, check in before office visits or procedures and fill out paperwork. Preregistering on MyChart for a recent nuclear stress test produced a bar code she could use to check in when she arrived at RWJUH Somerset. “You don’t have to sit in the registration area because you already did everything online,” she says.

Nash’s November catheterization revealed no new blockages. She continues having periodic checkups with Dr. Mahal to monitor her medications, conduct tests such as EKGs and echocardiograms and ensure her condition remains stable. And she’ll be using MyChart to keep track of her care every step of the way.

Renovation Adds to Full-Service Cardiac Program

The recent renovation of a cardiac catheterization lab at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset allows procedures to be performed with shorter preparation and procedure times. The renovated space is one of three cardiac catheterization labs at the hospital where procedures including pacemaker implantation and emergency or elective coronary angioplasty are performed.

The new lab features the Azurion with FlexArm image-guided therapy system from Philips Healthcare, which delivers high-quality imaging with low X-ray dose levels. In addition to a full range of diagnostic services, the hospital offers a three-phase cardiac rehabilitation program in Hillsborough. The hospital also recently renovated its 2-West and 2-East Cardiology Pavilions, which feature private rooms with “smart beds” and the latest wireless telemetry system.

RWJUH Somerset is one of only two hospitals in New Jersey to receive the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) program, and has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as “high performing” in the care of congestive heart failure.

Excelling in Pacemaker Outcomes

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset earned a 5-star rating for Pacemaker Procedure outcomes according to new research released by Healthgrades, which each year evaluates performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 31 common inpatient procedures and conditions.

Healthgrades’ analysis shows that patients treated at hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have a lower risk of experiencing complications and mortality during a hospital stay than patients treated at hospitals receiving a 1-star rating for that procedure or condition.

RWJUH Somerset also leads with innovations. The hospital recently began using the minimally invasive Micra leaderless pacemaker, a device only about the size of a vitamin pill that is implanted directly into the heart and does not need wires. Insertion of the new pacemaker through a vein in the leg also requires no chest incision.

“Our cardiac catheterization laboratory performs a high volume of procedures each year, including cardiac pacemaker implants,” says Tony Cava, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJUH Somerset. “That experience combined with the expertise of our cardiologists, nurses and technicians offers the best outcomes for our patients. Healthgrades’ 5-star rating affirms our commitment to excellence and assures our community that state-of- the-art cardiac care is right here when they need it.”

Learn more information about the MyChart patient engagement platform at RWJBarnabas Health or register for a free account.