EMR Frequently Asked Questions
What is an electronic medical record (EMR)?
An electronic medical record is a secure, computerized version of your chart.
Aren't you already using electronic medical records?
Yes, we have had electronic medical records since 1998. Wake Forest Baptist Health was actually one of the earliest systems in the country to begin using them. Until recently, the software programs available did not always communicate with one another and still required some hand written notes or paper records. We are excited to transition all of our previous systems into one, integrated electronic system that is considered the most secure, advanced medical record information system in health care.
What are the benefits of this new system?
This system will help improve the safety, quality and efficiency of health care.
- Your caregivers can carefully document, securely store and immediately access information vital to your care in an easily searchable format.
- Information from any source within the Wake Forest Baptist Health system and from many referring physicians who use our system can be accessed with a keystroke. This includes hospital records, lab reports and medications.
- It will reduce the possibility of misinterpreting medication and dosage information due to illegible handwriting. Our pharmacists and providers can also automatically check for drug interactions.
Is my health information secure and confidential?
Yes. Patient privacy is extremely important to us. The system is HIPAA compliant and requires a password and log-in for each user. Multiple layers of security are built into the system. Audit trails track log-in information and which charts are viewed. Automatic log-offs ensure records aren't accidentally left open.
Only those people who now have access to your medical records will have access to your records in this new system. Anyone with access to these records has been trained in HIPAA regulations and takes your privacy very seriously.
What backup is in place in case the computer fails?
The records are housed in a secure facility off site. Many redundancies are built into the system in case of a rare computer failure.
Will this shorten my time with the physician?
Your medical care is always our top priority. Your physicians will continue to provide you with enough time to respond to your medical needs and answer your questions. With quicker access to information vital to your care, they will have more time for you.
Will I have longer wait times because of the new system?
As we learn the new system, you may temporarily notice longer wait times. We will do everything possible to eliminate unnecessary wait times. We appreciate your patience.
Can I view my own records?
Yes. Your medical records are always available to you. You can also register for our new patient portal called myWakeHealth, which allows you to:
- Access health information, such as lab results, medication lists, allergies and scheduled appointments.
- Communicate with your physician via email.
- Request an appointment or a prescription refill.
As we continue to transition other components of the system, other information will be made available to you. If you are interested, please ask your nurse to help register you.
Will this affect my costs at Wake Forest Baptist Health?
Why do you need to know my race/ethnicity?
This information is required by payers and government programs. You have the right to decline this information.
Why are you asking for some of the same information you already have, such as a HIPAA signature and my ID?
With any new system, some of your personal information has to be re-entered to comply with new forms and computer screens. We appreciate your patience with any delays and are doing everything we can to eliminate unnecessary wait times.