Test Results & Clinical Notes FAQ
Patients with access to their medical record will begin receiving their clinical test results and clinical notes as soon as they are available. Which means there won’t be a wait time between availability and access to results/notes.
Why is Sentara making this change?
We are making this change based on new federal regulations issued in early 2020 requiring that these changes take place by November 1, 2020.
We believe that both timely results release and access to your clinical notes will allow more collaboration between you and your provider. It will also assist you to understand the “why” behind your healthcare issues, which will better prepare you to follow your treatment plan.
What are clinical notes?
Clinical notes are written in your medical record by your providers and clinicians that document the care you receive. Now, for the first time you will have access to the clinical notes. This applies if you are a patient in a Sentara hospital or you visit your Sentara doctor’s office. This is a great step in empowering you with even more information about your health and well-being.
What clinical notes are included that will be released along with the clinical test results?
The following are the note types that you may see in your medical record:
- Consultation Notes
- Discharge Summary Notes
- History and Physical Notes
- Procedure Notes
- Progress Notes
- Imaging Narrative
- Laboratory Report Narrative
- Pathology Report Narrative
Will I be able to see clinical notes written prior to Oct. 1, 2020?
No, only clinical notes written beginning Oct. 1, 2020 and moving forward will be released.
Where do I find my notes in Sentara MyChart or the Sentara App?
In both Sentara Mychart and the Sentara App, when viewing your After Visit Summary you'll see a "Notes" tab.
Will my provider or clinician see these notes and test results before I do?
You may receive your clinical notes before your provider has had a chance to review. We ask for your patience should your provider not reach out to you prior to you seeing your notes.
I'm used to viewing my test results, what's changing?
While you typically see most clinical test results in the Sentara App/MyChart one business day after the result is completed, you will now begin seeing those results as soon as they are completed. This is your information and we look forward to reducing the time between testing and when you know the result. We believe this will minimize stress or anxiety you may have in waiting for your test results.
Are there any exceptions to clinical notes or test results that will be released?
Yes, there are a few exceptions where the information will not be released and the provider must document why they aren’t releasing that information.
- Subset of psychotherapy notes.
- Notes deemed harmful to the patient.
- Notes related to civil and criminal proceedings.
- State law prohibiting release of certain test results. Based on Commonwealth of Virginia law, HIV results cannot be auto-released.
How soon after an appointment will I be able to see my clinical notes or test results?
As soon as your care team finalizes them, your clinical notes and test results will become available in Sentara MyChart and/or through the Sentara App.
Can I share my clinical notes or test results with others?
Yes, should you have a provider who does not have access to your medical record, you can share your clinical notes and test results with them.
Using Sentara MyChart you'll need to log in, then:
- Select "Health", then under "Medical Tools", select "Share My Record" (last item in the list)
- You'll see options to download and share, or to link accounts.
Using the Sentara app, you'll need to log in, then:
- Click on the "Menu" in the top right corner
- Select "Medical Tools", then "Sharing Hub"
- You'll see options to download and share, link accounts, etc.
For more information on how to share you personal medical record with a family member, read more about proxy access.
Have other major medical centers published notes?
Yes, many other major medical centers including Stanford, Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Atrium, Adventist, Dartmouth-Hitchkock, etc. publish notes. See others.
I don't have an account, how do I sign up?
Step 1: Request an Activation Code
- If you have recently completed an appointment with a Sentara provider, you may have received an activation code from your provider; or it may be printed on the last page of your recent visit summary or discharge instructions.
- You may also request an activation code here.
- You will be asked to fill in your personal information, including your address, date of birth and email address.
- When you're done, check your email for your activation code.
Step 2: Use Your Activation Code to Complete Sign Up
- Follow the prompts from the email you received.
- Read the terms & conditions, click the check box to agree to the terms, and then click "Next Step."
- Your 15-digit activation code should be pre-populated, and you will be asked to re-enter your personal information.
- Next, create your username and password.
- Finally, you'll select three security questions to answer in case you forget your password.
- You will receive an email when your account set up is complete.
How do I get the Sentara App?
The Sentara app allows you to access your information from anywhere. From your mobile device: text APP to 26320 for a link to download; or click here to download on the App Store (Apple devices) or click here to download on Google Play (Android devices).
You will use the same Sentara or Sentara MyChart username and password to log in.