Clark County Dental Society President Keith Collins is trying to create greater medical record transparency and collaboration in Southwest Washington.
Collins plans to invite and introduce dentists in Clark County to use Share Everywhere by the Epic medical records system. The gist of Share Everywhere is that it helps patients share their medical record with anyone they want as long it exists on Epic’s system.
Legacy Health, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and Vancouver Clinic all participate in Epic, which is HIPAA compliant.
“Hardly anybody knows about this system, and it can bring so much value to patients,” Collins said.
For example, Collins said, when patients fill out paper questionnaires during a visit to his office, they often don’t list all of their medical problems, allergies or medications. Collins said an 80-year-old patient he once had listed nothing on his paper questionnaire before a visit. It turned out the patient was on 12 medications and had 20 significant problems, including an aortic heart-valve replacement.
If Collins doesn’t have a full medical picture, he’s not in a position to give the patient the quickest, safest and best care. He might have to call a provider to get medical information, and that can mean waiting days for a call-back, and possibly delaying treatment.
Then when Collins does get that provider on the phone, he might have to type down all of the patient’s medical information over a 20-minute conversation. With Epic’s Share Everywhere system, the patient can just give Collins permission to access their medical records, and Collins can see all their allergies, procedures they’ve had in the last decade, medications and any medical problems.
When a patient visits an Epic provider, they can be sent an invitation to view their medical record and create an account. When they then visit another medical provider such as their dentist, they can choose to share their medical record. They’ll receive a code to share with that dentist who will then input the code on Epic’s website, as well as the patient’s name and birth date to get record access.
That dentist would then have one-time and temporary access to the health information, and could save it to their record’s database.
Collins said this will help all providers, and also be of help when patients visit urgent care, or an emergency room in other countries. Collins believes use of the system will lead to better outcomes and prevent hardships for patients.
“The patient has the ability to share their medical record with anyone they wish,” he said.