Mayo officials: Be patient with record keeping

Published 9:06 am Thursday, June 16, 2011

Officials for Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin are asking for a little patience.

Mayo-Austin (formerly Austin Medical Center) launched its new electronic medical records system in April, and since then, staff have recieved complaints from patients about the wait time when scheduling appointments.

According to Tammy Kritzer, Mayo-Austin vice president of clinical support, the new record system should allow all Mayo facilities to access patient information immediately, and it should make sharing patient information safer, once patients have been entered into the system.

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“The focus is on improving safety and our ability to coordinate care,” Kritzer said in April. “The clear advantage is that because we will have a shared medical record for all Mayo Health System sites, everyone will have the most comprehensive information available.”

Dr. David Agerter, Mayo-Austin CEO, and Adam Rees, Mayo-Austin chief administrative officer, released a joint statement to the community addressing the issue, which they say is temporary:

“You’ve told us you’re waiting too long on the phone and in line when you are scheduling an appointment, have questions or are checking in for your appointment. We hear you and want you to know that we have hired more staff to assist you. They will enter and verify information before your visit that will stay in our system to reduce your waiting time.

“We went live with a new Electronic Medical Record in April, which has temporarily slowed down our registration process and phone response time, as we check the accuracy of patient information and become more proficient with the system.

“Getting this information up front saves time and money as the correct insurance companies are notified and letters, test results and statements go to the right addresses.

“We are slowly making progress in reducing our wait times. In fact, we have reduced by half the number of dropped calls, where you hung up because we didn’t promptly answer. That’s a good start, anyway. We also want to assure you that we take your comments seriously and they are the basis for several changes currently under consideration.

“If you’d like to contact us with further feedback, please go to, click on Austin and then ‘Feedback,’ on the left side of the homepage.”