Communication between doctors and their patients is one factor in providing excellent health care. It is with that in mind that Keck Medicine of USC recently added new features to the myUSCchart patient portal to enhance dialog between patients and providers.

Now patients have access to notes from their visits with their doctors called OpenNotes. This feature allows patients to review important medical information such as medication instructions and treatment plans. It also allows patients to better understand their medical conditions and the plan of action their physicians are using to treat them. These notes can be shared with other doctors on their medical team, their caregivers and other loved ones.

“It is all about patient engagement and strengthening the patient-doctor relationship,” said Gil Shlamovitz, MD, chief medical information officer and an emergency medicine physician at Keck Medicine. “It is a great tool to increase the quality of our care.”

This is part of an ongoing effort at Keck Medicine to improve transparency and communication with all patients through Keck Medicine’s online portal, In addition to OpenNotes, patients now have immediate access to radiology, pathology and laboratory results, if they choose to review them before a follow-up visit or before their doctor calls or messages them with the results.

Char Ryan, chief patient experience officer at Keck Medicine, said that her team consults with patients to understand the improvements patients would like to see to the portal. Increased access to their records is one feature that patients said would benefit them.

“This gives patients an avenue to be more involved in their care,” she said.

More changes to the portal are in the future, noted Smitha Ravipudi, chief operating officer of USC Care Medical Group. “We continue to enhance the patient portal by adding new features and to improve the user interface,” Ravipudi said. Patients soon will be able to schedule their visits and complete important paperwork ahead of their visits through the portal.

Shlamovitz added that the new features were implemented to improve transparency and strengthen relationships between patients and physicians. Physicians and care teams continue to review results and communicate with their patients using their preferred method of communication, including phone calls or emails.

To sign up for myUSCchart, text KECKPORTAL to 313131 or ask a team member to send you an invitation. You can also self-enroll by visiting

— Hope Hamashige