ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza and local health officials announced the expansion of online access for patients.
Local health systems are implementing new federal guidelines designed to give patients expanded access to their medical notes and test results.
“Our portal at UR medicine is called my chart its our patient portal,” Dr. Michael Apostolakos, Chief Medical Officer at Strong Memorial and Highland Hospitals said. “On October 11, UR medicine will begin releasing most test result and information immediately via mychart.”
The online portal has been available for a while, but now, information, notes, photos will be release to the patient much quicker, in some cases at the same time as their doctor.
“what’s really different, there are some sensitive test results that are now released immediately most notably imaging, CT scans, MRIs’ head scans and also pathology,” Apostolakos said. “Potentially you could receive a life altering diagnosis like cancer and receive it at the same time a doctor receives it and therefore he or she hasn’t had the chance to talk to you about it.”
Apostolakos said it’s important that when you get your diagnoses, to do research and collect all the questions you may have for your doctor.
“Were not asking patients to interpret their medical information,” Dr. Robert Mayo, Chief Medical Officer at Rochester Regional Health said. “What were saying is, you may have access to it and we as providers want to have a full dialogue with you about it. So I don’t think any physician will want their patients to conclude entirely for themselves what these results what theses notes mean.”
Patients are also able to ask for their information not to be released until the physician has the chance to talk to them.
“As providers were used to delivering sensitive news directly and we know that some patients may want to receive it that way.”
As the Finger Lakes infection rate remains low, some areas in the state continue to rise. On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the statewide infection rate is 1.26%, however in hotspots areas in down state is 5.8%.
“We’re still seeing, in Monroe County, a rolling average of about .7 to .8% of infection rate,” Mendoza said. “What I would offer is for now, let’s keep doing all the things we can control. we are looking through all the cluster guidance and see how to implement that in our community. and thankfully there’s no need to right now.”
“We’re a long way from a COVID vaccine. We want to make sure it’s gone through the proper science to make sure its effective and safe.”
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.