Clinician notes now available via our portal

We’re very excited to announce that, as an added benefit to our patients, UK HealthCare is now making clinician documentation from most outpatient and inpatient visits available via patients’ My UKHealthCare portal accounts.

Discharge summaries from inpatient hospital stays that ended after Feb. 15 and clinician notes from outpatient clinic visits after March 15 now can be viewed in patients’ portal accounts after they’ve been approved by the clinician.

To find your clinician notes, click on the Documents tab in the top right of your portal account’s home screen. Remember that if you have not had a recent appointment, no notes will be visible.

(Please note that it may take up to 30 days after a visit for notes to be available.)

Most clinics are included.

Like all other medical record information, documentation will not be released electronically for any patient age 12-18, due to federal and state privacy laws.

Only notes created after the Feb. 15 and March 15 start dates (respectively) will be available to patients electronically. Notes will not be released for earlier appointments.

As always, complete patient medical records for all dates of care, including clinician notes, are available in hard-copy form from our Health Information Management office. For information on how to request a hard copy of your medical record, visit ukhealthcare.uky.edu/med-records.

Clinician notes will only flow to active portal accounts. Patients who do not currently have an account can get more information and sign up at myukhealthcare.org. Once an account has been set up, notes from future inpatient and outpatient visits will be available.

Once you register for the My UKHealthCare patient portal, you can also:

  • Request prescription renewals when it’s convenient for you, not just when our offices are open.
  • Request, cancel or reschedule appointments.
  • View lab test results, radiology reports and office visit summaries.
  • Get health maintenance reminders.
  • View your immunization record and allergies.
  • View your hospital discharge instructions.

Patients are encouraged to review these notes and bring any questions to their next appointment.

Technical support for the My UKHealthCare patient portal is available weekdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. by calling 859-218-6221 or 844-820-7344 (toll free).

The decision to make providers’ notes available to patients electronically was made based on a 2010 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study, known as Open Notes, concluded that access to provider notes significantly increased patients’ engagement in their own health and treatment.

As a result of this study, 5 million patients (and growing) nationwide now have access to their clinicians’ notes. UK HealthCare is proud to be adding our patients to these ranks.

 

 

UK HealthCare leader honored as one of Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT

One of UK HealthCare’s own is being recognized on a national level as one of the Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT.

Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, professor of pediatrics at the UK College of Medicine and UK HealthCare’s first chief medical information officer, will be honored in May by Health Data Management  the information resource for medical and information technology professionals, executives and administrators  along with 74 other women from across the country.

As the chief medical information officer at UK HealthCare, Dr. Steltenkamp selected and led implementation of an electronic health record system across our clinical enterprise. She then became a leader for health information technology in Kentucky and was named chair of the Kentucky eHealth Board, where she successfully launched and maintains the Kentucky Health Information Exchange.

She also is the principal investigator for more than $10 million in health care information technology grant funding including the foundational grant establishing the Kentucky Regional Extension Center from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

“Dr. Steltenkamp is a shining example of excellence within the UK HealthCare enterprise,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.

Congratulations Dr. Steltenkamp!

UK HealthCare staff members take home Supervisor of the Year Award

The Supervisor of the Year Award recognizes employees at the University of Kentucky who make a difference in the lives of their employees. This year, the prestigious honor was given to two UK HealthCare staff members: Angela Dalton, practice manager in General Surgery, and Kristy McMillan, radiology technical manager in Imaging Services.

Nominated by their employees, both Dalton and McMillian were celebrated for creating a positive work environment that has led to improved patient care.

“(Angela) is a team player,” one nominating employee said of Dalton. “When my clinic is short-staffed, she is always one of the first managers to respond to send aid immediately so our patients’ care is not disrupted. The attention she dedicates to her providers, staff and patients is one to be model for UK excellence.”

McMillan, too, was lauded for her emphasis on improving the patient experience.

“(Kristy) is always thinking about her staff and patients and how to improve everything that surrounds them,” the nomination said. “She is a very strong believer in keeping a well-balanced work and home life for her staff as well has creating the best experience for our patients. … It shows because our patients love coming here for their exams.”

Angela and Kristy embody the compassionate, patient-first environment we strive to create every day here at UK HealthCare. Their employees love the work that they do and it shows in the excellent care our patients receive.

Congratulations to Angela and Kristy!

Check out a photo gallery below for pictures from this week’s award ceremony.

UK HealthCare celebrates 25 years of live-saving heart transplants.

Celebrating 25 years of heart transplants at UK HealthCare

On April 2, 1991, Dr. Michael Sekela performed the first heart transplant in the University of Kentucky’s history.

It’s been 25 years since that first operation, and we’ve been saving lives through heart transplantation ever since. In fact, we now do more than 40 heart transplants each year, and in 2015 we set a single-year record for the most heart transplants at one hospital in Kentucky.

While much has changed since Dr. Sekela’s first transplant, one thing has stayed the same: our commitment to providing the best care for patients with heart failure.

That commitment was on display earlier this week when patients gathered with staff and doctors from the UK Gill Heart Institute and the UK Transplant Center to celebrate 25 years of heart transplants at UK HealthCare.

“It’s so rewarding to see how our program has evolved,” Sekela said at the celebration. “We want to take care of our patients, and that’s always been the driving force of our program.”

Jim Holdiness, who received his new heart on Aug. 24, 1995, said UK HealthCare gave him a second chance at life.

“If hadn’t been for those people, in this hospital, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

Daniel Garcia received his new heart just earlier this year, but echoed Holdiness’ sentiment.

“I haven’t had this much energy in 25 years,” he said. “When I think of UK, I think of excellence and compassion. Everyone had my well-being in mind.”

Check out some photos from the event below and visit the UK HealthCare Facebook page for a full gallery.


Next steps:

What you can do to prevent child abuse

Child abuse can happen in any family and in any neighborhood. Studies have shown that child abuse crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnic heritage and religious faith. The incidence is higher, however, in families in which the parents are in their mid-20s; high school dropouts or lack a high school diploma; below the poverty level or financially stressed; stressed because of a loss of job or home; or have a history of intergenerational abuse, alcohol, or substance abuse problems, a history of depression, or spouse abuse.

Stopping abuse

Prevent Child Abuse America offers these tips for stopping child abuse:

  • Try to understand your children. Learn how kids behave and what they can do at different ages. Have realistic expectations and be reasonable if children fall short.
  • Keep your children healthy. Denying children food, sleep, or health care is abuse by neglect.
  • Get help with alcohol or drug problems. Keep children away from anyone who abuses those substances.
  • Watch your words. Angry or punishing language can leave emotional scars for a lifetime.
  • Get control of yourself before disciplining a child. Set clear rules so the child knows what to expect. Avoid physical punishment.
  • Take a time-out. Stop if you begin to act out frustration or other emotions physically. Find someone to talk with or watch your kids while you take a walk. Call a child abuse prevention hotline if you are worried you may hit your child.
  • Make your home a violence-free zone. Turn off violent TV shows and don’t let kids stay under the same roof with an abusive adult.
  • Take regular breaks from your children. This will give you a release from the stress of parenting full-time.

If you want to go the extra mile for supporting the safety of children, visit the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky site and join us for the Commit to Prevent 5K Run/Walk on April 10. UK HealthCare is a proud sponsor of this event and we hope to see you there! Also, don’t forget to wear blue April 8 to promote child abuse awareness and stop by the Pavilion A Atrium Lobby at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital at 1 p.m. for a group photo.


Next Steps:

Colon cancer screening

Should you be screened for colon cancer?

“Challenge accepted” is a series highlighting the work the UK Markey Cancer Center is doing to fight cancer in Kentucky and Appalachia. To learn more about how we’re helping Kentuckians live longer, fuller and healthier lives, read the latest Markey Cancer Center Annual Report. In this entry, we sit down with Melissa Hounshell, Markey community outreach director, to discuss the importance of colorectal cancer screening.

Who should be screened for colorectal cancer?

Melissa Hounshell

Melissa Hounshell

Hounshell: In general, colon cancer screenings begin at age 50 and continue until age 75. If there is a family history, doctors recommend you start earlier. If there are any questions, you should always ask your family physician. There are several different types of screenings available, including fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

Screening can catch cancer early, when it’s at its most treatable, and it can also prevent the disease by identifying abnormal growths called polyps, which can turn into cancer later on.

What is a FIT and what are its benefits?

Hounshell: FIT (fecal immunochemical test) is a high-sensitivity stool test that you can do at home. It’s used to test the stool for blood that cannot be seen with the naked eye (called occult blood). Once completed, the FIT is then mailed to a lab, where you will get a positive or negative result. If it’s positive, a follow-up colonoscopy will be recommended.

A FIT is often used to detect bleeding in the digestive tract when there are no other signs or symptoms of a digestive problem. Blood in the stool can be caused by a number of conditions, including colon cancer. It is important to remember that a FIT should be repeated each year.

How can people sign up for a screening or learn more about FIT tests?

Hounshell: Most primary care doctors should offer FIT testing. I always recommend starting with your personal physician. They know your health and your family history. Markey also has FITs available at several of our screening events throughout the year. For more information, please call 859-323-2034.

Why is screening for colorectal cancer so important, especially in Kentucky?

Hounshell: Colon cancer is largely a preventable disease. Kentucky has historically ranked very high in incidence rates. However, through the efforts of many organizations and advocates all across Kentucky in the past 15 years, we have seen a dramatic decrease in incidence rates and deaths.

These screenings work! We just have to continue our efforts to educate folks on the importance of getting screened.

How does colorectal cancer screening fit into Markey’s outreach mission?

Hounshell:  I talk about colon cancer screening every place I go. Much of my time is spent traveling the state and talking with people about the importance of cancer screenings, education, and general health and wellness. It is extremely important to open the dialogue with folks and to make sure they understand what types of screenings are available to them. I consider it an honor to meet so many good people and help them better understand screenings.


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From left: UK HealthCare Chief Administrative Officer Ann Smith; Dr. Henrietta Bada, vice chair of the UK HealthCare Department of Pediatrics; Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; Mark D. Birdwhistell, UK HealthCare vice president for external affairs; U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers; Dr. Lon Hays, UK HealthCare chair of psychiatry; and Dr. Catherine Martin, UK HealthCare director of child and adolescent psychiatry.

Leading the charge against drug abuse in Kentucky

Drug overdose deaths in Kentucky are a major public health crisis. In fact, in 2014, the Commonwealth had one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the country. But through research, public policy, community intervention and effective health care, the University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare are fighting back against this terrible problem. Last […]

The Power of Advanced Medicine

Introducing The Power of Advanced Medicine

How powerful is advanced medicine?

At UK HealthCare it is seriously powerful. Life-changing powerful.

Today we are launching a new campaign built around our message of The Power of Advanced Medicine. Showcasing UK HealthCare’s role as Kentucky’s leading academic medical center, the campaign will help you better understand who we are and the groundbreaking work we do.

From treating the most complex medical diagnoses to blazing new trails related to research and innovation, we’ll show you some of the amazing things that happen at UK HealthCare every day.

The campaign kicks off with a 30-second TV commercial featuring several of our programs and initiatives including orthopaedics, cancer and Alzheimer’s research, as well as the new Sports Medicine Research Institute.

We’ll share more great stories as we move forward, but for now you can be among the first to experience The Power of Advanced Medicine by visiting ukhealthcare.com/powerof.

Tune in! Markey Cancer Center experts featured on tonight’s PBS NewsHour

Update, March 28: If you missed Friday’s report on PBS, be sure to check out the video below.

Watch PBS NewsHour tonight at 7 p.m. for a special report on cancer in Kentucky and Appalachia. The story features experts from the UK Markey Cancer Center who work on the front lines of fighting the disease in the poorest parts of the Commonwealth.

Markey’s Dr. Tom Tucker and Dr. Susanne Arnold sat down with NewsHour to discuss the role poverty plays in cancer incidence and how a lack of resources in some parts of Kentucky has contributed to the nation’s highest cancer rates.

Tune in to Kentucky Educational Television tonight at 7 p.m. to learn more about what we’re doing to help Kentuckians live longer, fuller, healthier lives.


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Better rest may be the key to better health

Getting enough sleep may seem impossible with so few hours in a day, but it is more under your control than you might think. There are plenty of practices and habits that make for good sleep hygiene and will maximize the time you spend asleep.

danov-zoran

Dr. Zoran Danov

Most adults should be getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, and when they don’t, it can lead to health problems like forgetfulness, difficulty fighting infections, mood swings and depression. Since sleep deprivation is becoming more common, it’s important to know how you can turn your bad sleep habits around and get good rest.

To celebrate National Sleep Awareness Week, we spoke with Dr. Zoran Danov, medical director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, to find out more about the positive effects that good sleep hygiene can have on day-to-day activities and improving overall health and happiness.

Does it help to fall asleep and wake up on a regular schedule?

Danov: Having a regular sleep schedule is very important for maintaining a sleep cycle and getting enough uninterrupted sleep. We should try whenever we can to wake up at the same time consistently regardless of whether it’s a weekend or a work/school day.

Why is it so important to get good sleep?

Danov: Sleep really is a necessary and important part of our daily lives. If you don’t get enough, it’s been shown to lead to changes in a person’s mood causing irritability, lack of motivation, anxiety and depression. Insufficient sleep can also directly influence your actions. For example, waking up without the right rest can be seriously dangerous. Drowsy driving can lead to an injury and possibly even death.

All the shortcomings of a lack of sleep are serious and can be improved only by regular and adequate sleep both in duration and quality.

What tips do you recommend for getting better sleep?

Danov: You’re going to want to have a regular schedule for bedtime, wake time and the meals throughout your days. Staying physically active is also important, but you won’t want to do any strenuous activity right before your desired bedtime. As for those habits right before bedtime, you should cut out the electronics an hour before trying to fall asleep, and caffeinated drinks five to six hours before. The bedroom should be kept dark and quiet, at a comfortable temperature.

How does napping factor into a good sleep routine?

Danov: Napping is a normal human behavior. Naps temporarily improve alertness and they can take the edge off sleepiness, but they do not replace sleep. It’s natural to want to nap usually between 2 and 5 p.m., when we often feel the sleepiest during the day. However, napping too long or too close to your desired sleep time may hurt the night’s sleep. You may not be getting enough sleep during the night if you need to take more than two naps per week.

How do eating habits affect sleep?

Danov: Regular and scheduled meals contribute to regular and quality sleep. Your sleep and diet are interconnected. Insufficient sleep has been associated with obesity and craving comfort foods. We should avoid going to bed hungry, but I wouldn’t recommend any heavy meals within three hours of going to sleep.

What habits may be contributing to poor-quality sleep?

Danov: Using electronics before going to bed and during the night is by far the most common habit that interferes with sleep. People feel the need to stay connected to the outside world and their friends even during sleep. Electronics break up our sleep by emitting light that disrupts our circadian rhythm directly, which is only going to keep you up longer. Interruptions like text messages and phone calls only contribute to sleep fragmentation and not getting quality sleep. Other bad sleep habits that are common are consuming caffeinated drinks close to bedtime and over-scheduling.


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