The two largest healthcare organizations in Winston-Salem, N.C.—Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health—are now collaborating on an initiative that will merge critical health information for patients.
The project, called “Happy Together,” went live on Jan. 14 and is centered around better access to patient data located in MyChart—the web portal of electronic health record (EHR) vendor Epic.
Officials from the organizations noted that before the change, Winston-Salem healthcare patients needed to maintain a separate MyChart account for each of the two Epic organizations if they received care at Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health. But the new efficiencies allows patients access to their health information in a single MyChart account, even if they do not have an active MyChart account set up at both organizations.
After “Happy Together” went live on Jan. 14, about 6,700 Novant Health patients had already connected their accounts by midnight on Wednesday, Jan. 17, officials attested.
This collaboration will allow patients to combine data from the two systems into a single view to improve their understanding of medications, lab results, plan of care and follow up appointments, said Keith Griffin, M.D., chief medical informatics officer for Novant Health. “It is truly a major step forward towards the goal of patient engagement and elimination of barriers of information and confusion.”
With the initial launch, patients are only able to access information between Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health. But Novant Health plans to continue efforts to expand this program in the future to include other health organizations that use Epic, according to the organization’s officials.
“Novant Health is committed to making care as easy and convenient as possible for our patients,” Dave Garrett, Novant Health senior vice president and CIO, said in a statement. “Through the interoperability provided by ‘Happy Together,’ Novant Health can ensure our patients’ medical records are easily and securely accessed—so our patients can receive care when and where they need it most.”