New MyChart features improve patient convenience

Recent changes to MyChart have made it even easier to sign up for this secure patient portal, and have added the ability for patients to schedule certain appointments online.

Teams from UI Health Care Information Systems, Patient Appointment Center, and Front Line Operations representatives have been working for many months to develop, test, and launch the technology behind some new features in MyChart:

  • The ability to sign up directly online to create a MyChart account (has been available since June 2016)
  • Schedule specific appointment types directly online. This is already available for some areas/appointments; more areas are being added.

I scheduled through MyChart, which was wonderful. I was able to see choices of providers and the available times and schedule an appointment for the following day.
—A Family Medicine patient

Patients who have MyChart accounts know the many advantages it provides, including the ability to:

  • View upcoming and past appointments
  • Accept earlier appointment options when offered
  • See test results
  • Send a secure message to the health care team
  • Request a prescription renewal or refill with an option to pick up or for free home delivery
  • Pay hospital bills

Since June, patients who do not have a MyChart account can sign up of one online from the MyChart home page at On the right side of the screen, patients can click on “Sign Up Now” and start the process.

On the next page, patients select “Request an Activation Code for your own account,” where they begin entering their information on a brief form and then submit it electronically. It will take a week or less for processing and verification. When approved, patients receive an email or a letter with their activation code and instructions on how to activate their MyChart account.

Making appointments

Through the “Self Schedule an Appointment” feature under the Visits tab, patients can now directly schedule certain types of appointments in General Pediatrics, General Internal Medicine, and Family Medicine, including:

  • Same day (for more urgent issues)
  • Return/follow-up visits
  • Adult physical

Patients are guided through several pages to provide personal information, verify their insurance coverage, and to select their preferred provider and date and time for an appointment.

Keri Semrau, Director of the Patient Appointment Center, said, “This allows patients to make appointments any time of the day or night—at their convenience. We are working to add more types of appointments and more physicians and clinics to this feature, and plan to have all primary care departments as well as many of our outreach clinics live with direct scheduling by the beginning of 2017.”

Until then, if a visit cannot be self-scheduled through MyChart, patients can use the Request an Appointment feature on pages or call 800-777-8422 or local 319-384-8442.