David Everitt
David Everitt, pictured with his spouse, Mary Lou, says having the information from myUHN allows him to be better prepared for meetings with his healthcare team. (Photo: Courtesy David Everitt)

David Everitt has gained more control over his healthcare journey.

A patient of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre since 2010, David is one of the tens of thousands of users who has signed up for myUHN Patient Portal, the secure website that provides patients and their caregivers with quick and safe access to their UHN personal health record.

David, who is also a UHN Patient Partner, says having this easy access to his personal health information allows him to thoroughly review it ahead of clinical appointments or between hospital visits.

"By being armed with the information from myUHN, and thus being better prepared, I am able to have a more focused and meaningful communication with my healthcare team," says David, who as a UHN Patient Partner actively participates in organizational initiatives aimed at improving the patient experience and quality of care. "This could never be done without this access."

myUHN was initially phased in beginning in May 2015 and went organization-wide in January 2017.

To date, more than 78,000 patients have registered to use the portal, which allows them to view appointments, results and reports, including clinical documentation, in real-time and share their information with caregivers, their family doctor or other healthcare professionals. It also has patient education resource links to help in understanding health information.

"Having this information allows me to review my past and current situation and make decisions using it," David says. "Psychologically, this does result in, for want of a better word, empowerment."

Survey says improved patient experience, enhanced communication

David says access to myUHN also helps him in his relationship with clinicians outside UHN and beyond Toronto. Sharing of health information between jurisdictions can be sparse but "with the information accessible in myUHN, I am able to have a more informed and prepared discussion with clinicians who are treating aspects of my disease but are not part of UHN.

"Without my access to myUHN, this would not be possible."

David's comments are echoed in a recent evaluation of myUHN. Of the nearly 10,000 patients who responded, 94 per cent reported that myUHN improved their patient experience, enhanced communication with their healthcare team and helped them make more informed decisions.

"Patients and caregivers told us they wanted real-time access to their health information and we listened," says Vasiliki Bakas, Operations Manager, myUHN Patient Portal.

"They were engaged from the planning and development phase. And, today, we continue to engage with patients, such as David, as well as caregivers and TeamUHN members on how we can enhance myUHN and expand access so patients can continue to be involved partners in their care."

For more information on myUHN, please contact myuhn@uhn.ca or call 416 340 3777.

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