530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell
Enloe unveils ‘shared medical records’ for patients to promote
informed health care decision making
CHICO, Calif., AUG. 25, 2011 – Enloe Medical Center has implemented a shared medical records policy as a new tool to help patients make informed health care decisions.
“We encourage our patients to read their own medical records during their hospital stay, which helps them be active participants in their health care and treatment plan,” explains Traci Hunt, Enloe’s Planetree Coordinator. “Shared medical records promote a two-way dialogue between patients and health care providers, and allow patients to understand and ask questions about their disease or their course of treatment.”
Sharing medical records is a collaborative experience, with a nurse or physician reviewing the record with the patient. “We do it together because often medical terminology is a language of its own, and we want to make sure people really understand what they are seeing,” Hunt says.
The nurse reviews the electronic records with the patient via bedside computers or a paper record may be used. Enloe Medical Center has had electronic medical records for several years and is currently in the process of upgrading and expanding the technology.
Patients are given several opportunities to request their medical records. The process starts with Enloe’s registration staff, who informs patients of their right and encourages them to review their medical records during their hospital stay. Once patients are in their room, the nursing staff also explains the option. If a patient is interested in reviewing his or her record, the nurse will schedule a time to review the records together. Patients can authorize their loved ones to review their medical records with written permission.
Shared medical records is one of Enloe Medical Center’s patient-centered Planetree initiatives. The Planetree model values demystifying and personalizing the health care experience for patients and families.
Other patient-centered initiatives at Enloe include the Health Learning Center, spiritual support with White Rose designation and companions, personalized patient cards following discharge along with follow-up phone calls, patient menu improvements, healing arts and live soothing music, a patient ambassador program, a family- and patient-initiated rapid response team, quiet hospital improvements, animal-assisted activities, enhanced employee wellness offerings, sustainability and recycling, and a Five Wishes advance directive community campaign, among other programs.
Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif. 95926.