21st Century house calls

Doctors and clinical providers across Northeast Medical Group (NEMG) are staying connected with their patients through telehealth. The technology allows care in the comfort and privacy of patient homes through a phone or video call.

Jill Banatoski, MD, internal medicine, NEMG, said video calls can be used for a wide variety of conditions including general pain, skin irritation or even a blood pressure check.

A recent update to the electronic medical record program, Epic, delivered several improvements to its video call feature including better call quality and ease of use. Dr. Banatoski said the update also makes it easier for patients to include family members or caregivers on their calls.

“Epic uses a platform called VidyoConnect that allows you to have multiple people on the call at one time,” she said. “It’s very much like Zoom (a popular videoconferencing platform). It allows aging patients to grant access to adult children who maybe don’t live locally or otherwise can’t join them for the appointment.”

Patients can use a smartphone or tablet to activate a MyChart account and download the MyChart app, as well as the VidyoConnect app. MyChart is a portal that gives patients access to their medical records, test results, medications and other health information.

Sign up is easy. Log on to the MyChart website, click the “Sign Up Now” button, and then select “Request Access Code” to complete the enrollment process. A third party called Experian will need to validate your identity.

You may learn more about using MyChart in these videos:

Appropriate use of MyChart messaging

Northeast Medical Group values your ability to communicate with your care team through MyChart. We want to make sure that messages sent through MyChart are appropriate and meaningful. Use MyChart for brief, non-urgent questions about your medical care.

MyChart messages should never be used as a replacement to seeing your provider. If you have a new medical problem or need a new medication, use the appointment request feature to schedule an in-person or telehealth visit. Since the MyChart messaging system is for non-urgent matters, it may take your provider up to one week to reply. Please do not send your provider multiple email messages or phone messages. Call your doctor's office, go to an emergency room or call 911 for all urgent medical matters.

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