Open Medical Records

Jane Mayes, RN, on 3 South, explains to patient Vicki Carroll about her medical records and answers questions about her plan of care.

Fauquier Health provides easy access for patients

By Robin Earl

Medical and support professionals at Fauquier Health work hard to personalize, humanize, and demystify the patient experience. One way to do that is for healthcare providers to proactively offer patients open access to their medical records while they are hospitalized.

The Planetree organization, a leader in patient-centered care, has conducted more than 20 years of focus groups; it found that patients who are given access to their medical charts are happier with their health providers. Research also says that patients who feel more in control of their own care are less likely to report care coordination problems.

Fauquier Health is committed to making medical records available to patients because:

  • Patients want it.
  • It demystifies healthcare.
  • It helps to engage patients and family members in their own healthcare.
  • It promotes quality and safety.
  • It strengthens patient/provider relationships.
  • It promotes shared decision making.
  • It enhances patient satisfaction.
  • It promotes continuity and coordination of care.
  • It promotes an environment conducive to healing.
  • It’s a patient’s right.

Fauquier Health supports a proactive approach to sharing a patient’s medical record during hospitalization and treatment. Patients are welcome to ask their nurse to show them their records and are encouraged to ask questions about anything they don’t understand.

For example, if a patient with an injury that results in acute blood loss requires a blood transfusion, the patient can view the lab values and vital signs that have been impacted. A nurse can show the patient how the blood is typed and crossmatched and explain the safeguards that are put in place – including two-person authentication and a careful step-by-step approach during the administration of blood. When patients have an understanding of their condition and the treatment options, they are equipped to make decisions about their own care.

Patients working in collaboration with staff on their plan of care create favorable outcomes and facilitate smooth transitions – to a skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation, or home care. Gone are the days when the patient is relegated to a passive role. It is crucial that a team of engaged nurses, physicians, support staff, patients, and patient support systems work together toward healing and health.


Taking Charge of Your Medical Information

The Fauquier Health eChart is a free, secure, private program designed to enhance communication and coordination of care. It’s a platform where patients can access important health information related to their hospital stay or procedure. Patients who participate will have instant access to important information, including:

  • Procedures completed during a hospital stay
  • Vital signs taken during that stay
  • A list of current and past medical issues
  • Discharge instructions
  • A list of current medicines and medicine history
  • Laboratory test results
  • Radiology reports
  • Billing statements
  • Continuity of Care Documents (CCD)

Setting Up an Account

Patients can register for The Fauquier Hospital eChart at any time during or after their first visit to Fauquier Hospital. During registration for that visit, the patient access representative will ask if you would like to sign up. If you do, they will ask for your email address and the system will send a unique patient code to your email.

If you would like to sign up in between hospital visits, go online to www.fauquierhealth.org and click on “Patient eChart,” then on “Create My New eChart Account” and then click on “ Request an eChart Code.” Patients will then be able to set up an account with a username and password they select.

Reports and other information are posted between 30 hours and seven days after the reports are final or after an inpatient discharge.

You can sign up for an eChart for yourself, your child under the age of 10, or an adult for whom you have Power of Attorney (with proper signed documentation). You cannot sign up for or use an eChart of another adult (your adult “child,” spouse, domestic partner); however, there is a sharing feature within eChart that lets a user see information of those that have shared it from their eChart.

Children between the ages of 10 and 17 cannot use eChart due to limitations of the software and HIPAA law.


Chef Showdown Set for October 25

Fauquier Hospital will host a Chef Showdown at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25, in the Bistro on the Hill restaurant at the hospital.

Professional chef David Martin will test his culinary skills against a guest chef. Both will be presented with four healthy ingredients. Their challenge is to produce dishes that highlight each of the foods. Spectators at the free event can taste the results. Register at fauquierhealth.org

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