Columbia University Medical Center

Patient Portal Rollout to Expand

The myColumbiaDoctors Patient Portal beta test is progressing, after the successful “soft” launch in January.

A total of 41 providers are now live on the portal, and they have been very busy, inviting more than 400 patients to join it. These beta sites will give feedback to ColumbiaDoctors about the system and its use, and in turn, the faculty practice will be making necessary adjustments, developing training, and creating documentation to ensure a smooth rollout for the remaining locations.

The portal meets key business and patient-satisfaction objectives, engaging patients in their care, improving communications, and meeting Meaningful Use requirements.

“The portal is necessary for us to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2,” said Peter Stetson, MD, MA, chief medical officer and chief medical informatics officer for ColumbiaDoctors. “Three measures require the use of a portal. Two additional measures can be met in alternative ways, but the portal provides another option for us,” he said.

Measures include:
View, Download, Transmit:  Fully 5 percent of patients seen during the reporting period must view, download, or transmit their health information. Patients viewing his or her myColumbiaDoctors homepage satisfy this measure.

Online Access: Fully 50 percent of patients seen during the reporting period must have online access to their health information. Sending a patient a myColumbiaDoctors invitation satisfies this measure.

Secure Messaging: Fully 5 percent of patients seen during the reporting period must send a secure message. A patient sending a message, excluding appointment-related messages, will count toward satisfying this measure.

Clinical Summary: Clinical summaries must be provided to patients for more than 50 percent of office visits within one business day. Generating an electronic clinical summary, delivered to the patient through his or her myColumbiaDoctors account, will satisfy this measure. This capability in now available in CROWN, with the completion of the Allscripts Enterprise 11.4.1 upgrade.

Staged Portal Rollout
Dr. Stetson added that the faculty practice aims for all providers to be “live and comfortable with the portal before July 1,” which will give ColumbiaDoctors providers two 90-day reporting periods in 2014 to meet Meaningful Use. Remaining practices will go live in mid-to-late May, he said.  A kickoff event will be held in the coming weeks.

FPO staff will collaborate with departments to identify providers and staff to champion the rollout within their departments and practices. In addition, FPO staff will help create workflows to accommodate the portal rollout.

How to Prepare for the Rollout

  • Be on the lookout for more information in the newsletter, in email, and from your department.
  • Collect patients’ email addresses.
  • Identify those within your practice who will invite patients to join the portal.

For more information, watch this three-minute video on the portal from the patient’s perspective: and visit the ColumbiaDoctors internal website.