Patient Portal (MyAHS Connect, MAC)
The "MyAHS Connect" (myahsconnect.ahs.ca) patient portal launched with the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). MyAHS Connect allows patients and designated members of their decision-making unit to participate more fully in health maintenance and care.
Patients can be invited to register for MyAHS Connect access during encounters with any clinic, facility or program where Connect Care is the record of care. It is also possible for clinicians to initiate the access process during virtual interactions. Instructions for patient self-activation appear in "After Visit Summaries" (AVS), which may be printed by staff at hospital or clinic discharge, or at any time by physicians. Instructions can also be emailed to patients through a quick-activation via the patient storyboard (top of leftmost column in an opened chart).
When patients are active MyAHS Connect users (apparent from the state of a MyChart icon appearing at the top of the Storyboard in a patient's chart), it becomes possible to manage information sharing within Connect Care, as described in this section.
The considerable benefits of MyAHS Connect are not available to patients unless their providers promote the service, make it available and help patients use it effectively. Although promoting portal activation is a team responsibility, prescribers can help by asking patients about portal use at all encounters.
Any prescriber can use Connect Care to issue an activation code and invite a patient to MyAHS Connect. This is easiest to do within an open patient chart (click on the top-right MyChart Storyboard icon, then the activation button). In addition, all clinics and emergency departments should build MyAHS Connect activation into after-visit summary workflows.
Prescribers may be more inclined to promote portal use by their patients if they are able to use MyAHS Connect themselves. They can directly experience patient portal capabilities. Clinicians are free to request MyAHS Connect access for personal use and familiarization (note that the Insite sign-up link below will only work on internal AHS networks).
Hospitalizations offer an opportunity to introduce MyAHS Connect to patients and to promote its use as a post-discharge aid to follow-up. Ward staff (inpatient) can build MyAHS Connect activation into patient education activities, discharge planning and after-visit summary workflows.
Active MyAHS Connect users are automatically presented with a "Day at a Glance" display when admitted to a healthcare facility using Connect Care as its record of care. This includes information about the patient's:
Inpatient healthcare team
Upcoming interventions (imaging, tests, procedures)
Effective use of MyAHS Connect during hospitalizations can engage patients and their families as active members of the healthcare team. Research and experience shows that timely patient information access actually decreases clinician information burdens, as patients and families ask more focused questions and have independent access to many answers. Families can do better scheduling visits to fit with inpatient activities.
MyAHS Connect provides patients with access to key content within their the health record used where Connect Care is the record of care. This includes their health problems, medical and family history, medications, adverse reactions, immunizations, health goals, care plans and other information categories. Some information types are automatically shared. Other types, including notes and letters, can be optionally shared by clinicians.
Prescribers may be asked to facilitate things like proxy access, where patients share their MyAHS Connect information with family members or persons formally designated to assist with healthcare decision-making.
Specific processes apply to youths. Parental or guardian proxy access automatically expires when a youth turns 12 years old. If proxy access is re-enabled, it again automatically expires when the youth turns 18 years old. At that point, youths can themselves elect to provide proxy access to others.
The decision to grant, deny or remove proxy access can be facilitated by a regulated healthcare provider or a designated Health Information Management (HIM) team member. However, only a regulated healthcare provider can determine approval for re-enabling proxy access for youth with special healthcare needs.
Affected parents or guardians are notified about automatic age-related proxy expirations and have 60 days to apply for continuation of access to their child’s MyAHS Connect account. If no action is taken, proxy access is removed.
Only parents or guardians of patients between 12 and 17 years old with complex or special healthcare needs are eligible to apply for continuation of proxy access.
Complex or special healthcare needs are defined as having or being at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioural, or emotional condition that requires health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.
If proxy access is re-enabled, it re-expires when the youth turns 18 years old.
The following resources provide details about how prescribers can help patients navigate proxy access processes:
MyAHS Connect provides a secure communication channel that patients and their providers can use to share information about appointments, pre-visit and post-visit assessments, chart content, appointment requests, care path progress and other functions. The supports work best when clinical groups (e.g., clinics) configure and adapt workflows to ensure screening of incoming messages, assignment of disease management tools to patients, etc.
MyAHS Connect offers a number of tools that clinicians can use to improve chronic disease management, functional status assessment and health maintenance. Some involve direct patient data capture (e.g., answers to questionnaires or entries to flowsheets) while others involve indirect data capture via interfaces to patients' medical devices (e.g., glucometers, oxygen saturation monitors). A few questionnaires and flowsheets are provided to patients by default. Others are explicitly "ordered" for activation within a particular patient's patient portal configuration.
Connect Care has adopted a hybrid approach to laboratory result and test report release to patients via the MyAHS Connect portal. Most information is released as soon as it is reported and available to clinicians, while some tests are released after a 5-working-day delay:
Immediate release to patients:
Laboratory results including pathology and genetics
General x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, mammography, nuclear imaging, fluoroscopy
Interventional radiology-injections, aspirations, etc.
Cardiac angiography, angioplasty
Remaining cardiology reports (e.g., Holter monitors, 24-hr blood pressure readings and stress tests)
A Tip explains how test and reports can be ordered, and then how any associated patient results release and messaging can be managed. It is possible to see which results are scheduled for release, which have been viewed, which auto-release results can be blocked and how to attach comments to results destined for MyAHS Connect.
Most chart documents (e.g., progress notes, discharge summaries, consults) are not automatically shared with patients via MyAHS Connect. However, Clinicians are free to share any documentation items they author, preferably via MyAHS Connect as an approved and secure patient communications platform. Documents can be printed for patients who are not active on the patient portal.
Options for document release through MyAHS Connect may vary with different document (Note) types. Accordingly, when a new note is generated but a note type is not yet selected, the "Share w/ Patient" button may appear as if sharing will occur by default. This is not the case. As soon as a note type is selected (e.g., Progress Note), the "Share w/ Patient button defaults to the "off" state and the authoring clinician must make an explicit choice (clicking the button) to activate sharing.
After Visit Summary (AVS)
Encounter overviews (emergency, inpatient and outpatient) are routinely shared with patients as "After Visit Summaries" (AVS). These include information about key events, educational materials, medications, appointments and discharge instructions. The AVS is automatically sent to MyAHS Connect. Additionally, patients are provided with a printed AVS at discharge and at the close of most outpatient visits.
Prescribers can use the discharge navigator (inpatient encounters) or wrap-up navigator (outpatient encounters) to add instructions and/or educational handouts before the AVS is printed or sent to MyAHS Connect.
MyAHS Connect Utilization
Progress with patient enrolment can be tracked with a "MyAHS Connect Department Utilization" dashboard. This summarizes offers, activations and uses of the patient portal. It allows operational managers, supervisors and physicians to view how staff and patients are leveraging the tool for their clinic(s).
Within Hyperspace, open the "My Dashboards" activity (also easy to find by using "dash" as search term in Global Search, then select "My Dashboards").
Use the down-arrow just to the right of the name of the default dashboard.
From within the drop-down search box, search for "MyAHS Connect Department Utilization" (consider selecting the star next to the Dashboard name to make it a favourite), then open with its "play" button.
eLearning Resources (all via MyLearningLink course lookup for course code)
MYC001 - Overview of MyAHS Connect
MYC002 - Responding to Patient Messages
MYC005 - Granting Proxy Access to MyAHS Connect
MYC006 - Releasing Results to MyAHS Connect
MYC007 - Handling Appointments from MyAHS Connect
MYC010 - Sending and Reviewing Patient Questionnaires