UC San Diego Health Offering EHR, iPad Access to Patients

Dec. 8, 2016
Patients at the recently-opened Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health can be in more command with their own experience by assessing their own medical information, controlling room features and more.

Patients at the recently-opened Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health can be in more command with their own experience by assessing their own medical information, controlling room features and more.

Officials of UC San Diego Health noted in an announcement that with a swipe and tap of an iPad, patients at Jacobs Medical Center can be in command of their own experience by controlling room temperature, lighting, accessing their personal medical information, details on their patient care team and entertainment options all from their beds.

“By adding connectivity in every patient room, each person can take control of their hospital experience from regulation of their environment to connecting online with friends and family for support,” Thomas J. Savides, M.D., chief experience officer at UC San Diego Health, said in a statement. “Patients also see portions of their electronic medical record to help them understand their progress and anticipate daily events. We hope that feeling in control will aid in the healing process.”

Jacobs Medical Center, a 245-bed medical and surgical specialty hospital that opened its doors to patients in November, has equipped every room with an iPad and Apple TV. Upon arrival at their room, patients have immediate access to the iPad, which allows them to take command of their room environment, reducing the need to call or wait for assistance to lower blinds or adjust room temperature.

However, officials say it’s the secure access to their own medical records, using the new MyChart Bedside iOS app by Epic, the electronic health record (EHR) system in place at UC San Diego Health that enables patients to have more information in their hands than ever before. After patients create their own PIN to access medical records, they have safe access to test results, photographs and biographies of their healthcare team, a schedule of medications or upcoming procedures and educational materials prescribed by physicians.

“Some patients are very interested in lab results because discharge from the hospital depends on what the tests reveal,” noted Marc Sylwestrzak, information services experience and development director at UC San Diego Health. “Patients find having this information readily available is empowering. A combination of the security features, vital health data available through MyChart Bedside, control of the room environment and access to entertainment all available from an Apple iPad makes what we offer unique.”

When considering the latest technology available for an improved patient experience, the information services team’s first priority was patient privacy, said Sylwestrzak. Ensuring that a patient’s medical record and personal usage data is erased when the individual leaves the hospital room is critical.

To do this, each iPad leverages Jamf for mobile device management to automatically wipe patient data from each device immediately following a patient’s discharge and prepare the iPad for the next patient, leaving no trace of a previous user’s history. The software communicates with Epic to coordinate iPad management with patient records, ensuring that patient privacy is protected at all times, according to officials.

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