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      Upstate unveils cutting edge digital health records system

      Upstate Medical University unveiled a new system on Wednesday that will change how patients access their medical information.

      The new system, called â??Upstate MyChartâ?? allows patients to access their medical records on the web and through Apple and Android mobile devices using an app called My Charts.

      Upstate Medical Univeristy is the first in the region to offer a digital medical system for patients that integrates all of a patient's records across all components of Upstate. Upstate describes the system as a confidential electronic medical records and practice management system.

      Upstate MyChart gives patients instant access to their medical records including medical history, appointments, prescriptions, immunization charts and even lab results. Patients will see lab results much quicker than current practices allow. Lab results will be made available after about 72 hours.

      Parents using Upstate MyChart for their children will be able to avoid additional visits to the doctor's office by using the system to access immunization records needed for school children.

      Doctors say the new system will help patients manage their healthcare no matter where they are in the country.

      The system even lets patients schedule appointments and communicate directly with their healthcare providers through a built in messaging system.

      Neal Seidberg, M.D., Upstate University Hospital chief medical information officer, said, "Really we are giving portability to our patients they never had before. If they are in Florida visiting a grandparent and they need medication, we can actually send that information to a pharmacy in Florida where they can pick it up. Indeed with our MyChart system they can pull up a map of where they are and bring up a map of how to get to that pharmacy from where they are."

      Dr. Seidberg said, "This gives patients the ability to request an appointment without having to wait online or on the phone. It also gives them the capability of pulling an immunization record for their child when they need one for school."

      Dr. Seidberg says the new system, "creates convenience for patients, but also promotes consistency for healthcare providers."

      Patients can show doctors outside of Upstate their medical records on a mobile device, or printed copies, to help doctors see the patient's full history. For example, when prescribing a medication, a doctor would have instant access to see all other medications the patient may be taking without having to access additional files.

      Senior Vice President for hospital affairs, John McCabe, M.D., said in a written statement that, "Upstate is committed to embracing opportunities like this that further empower our patients and help to build them a personal network of health information."

      The program, which is free to patients and enabled by Epic Systems, launched Wednesday in the Family Medicine practice and will expand to cover all patients by the end of the year.