Essentia Health now allows patients to see caregiver notes in medical record

Sometimes it can be difficult to remember everything you hear during your doctor’s appointment. It can be even more daunting to decipher that information third hand, as the caretaker for an elderly relative. As of July 1, Essentia Health patients who have access to their medical records via MyHealth can read the notes made by caregivers during clinic appointments and urgent care visits. Loved ones who act as caretakers and have proxy access to a patient’s MyHealth account can also see the “Visit Notes.”

“Research shows that patients value this type of transparency and partnership with their healthcare team,” says Dr. Tom Wiig, Essentia’s Chief Medical Information Officer. “It’s in the best interest of our patients’ health to make this information easily accessible to them.”

It also can help family members when checking on their loved ones from a distance. Dagny Panyan, 98, lives in Duluth. Her daughter, Pat Frieze, lives in Sacramento, and her nephew, Don Aaser, lives in Minneapolis. Both have proxy access to Dagny’s medical record via MyHealth, and can now check online and read the notes Dagny’s doctor makes during her appointment.

“I think it’s a wonderful tool for patients, families, and healthcare professionals,” Don says. “It’s just a great way to communicate.”

Dagne, who has lived in Duluth since 1936, says that Don and her daughter regularly talk with her physician, but adds, “If this service can help someone out, great.”

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