Medical Professional Publications

Provider-to-Provider Messaging through Epic and CareLink

(From the August 2014 Issue of MedStat)

Medical Staff Communications Corner

CareLink is a web-based tool for primary care providers and local/regional medical centers to view Nationwide Children’s Epic charts for their respective patients. Providers can currently log in to CareLink to see outpatient visits, hospitalization notes, test results, upcoming appointments and medications, and perform referral order entry for patients.

This fall, we will be “going live” with a new feature in CareLink. In an effort to improve communication among all of our specialists and referring providers, a Community Messages feature will be a part of the CareLink-Epic connection. NCH-based Epic providers and enrolled, community-based CareLink providers will be able to send secure messages to one another about mutual patients. With this tool, specialists and primary care providers can communicate with one another to ask questions, give status updates, make comments or voice concerns. NOTE: when it is available, this service should NOT be used for urgent patient needs or “curbside” consults. For urgent items and informal consults, a phone call is the appropriate method of contact. Primary care providers can call Physician Direct Connect at (614) 355-0221 or (877) 355-0221.

For CareLink users, there will be new materials available to help use this feature. The Computer-Based-Training (CBT) video link will have information on messaging. Referring providers can also ask their Nationwide Children's physician liaison to assist with CareLink training, re-training and information on how to use the messaging system. The physician liaisons will be distributing informational sheets about this feature to community providers.

For Epic users on campus, the Epic training team will be available, as well as new electronic/printed materials for everyone. Epic training for new faculty and staff will include training on how to use the Community Messages feature. The system will be primarily for attending-to-attending (and also APN and fellows with attending supervision) communication and not for resident use.

One of the features of the Community Messages feature will be an email alert. This will allow all users to receive an email notification, outside of Epic or CareLink, of an unread message in the new community message folder.

Look for more announcements and information in the months ahead. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Bill Long, MD, at or Bruce Meyer, MD, at in the Administrative Medical Director’s Office.

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