Photo Friday: That’s a lot of people empowered (Sentara Health System, Norfolk, VA)

This week’s photograph has special meaning for me, because I was in this very room 3 years ago, at at Sentara Health System ( @sentarahealth ) in Norfolk, Virginia, when the walls were bare.

I visited this week along with the team from @Clinovations. This is he conference room from their eCare Health Network, and each plaque has the name of a medical practice or facility that has gone live with their eCare electronic health record. Take note of the “MyChart” label – this means that the people receiving care are able to communicate with their care providers and access their health information online through Sentara MyChart.

I paged back to my blog from 2007 ( @SusannahFox ‘s research has shown that many people use blogs as a memory device, and I’m one of them ) and found my entry from March 3, 2007:

The medical group understandably had good questions based on their lack of experience with services. They asked about some of the issues that challenge us, including review of lab test results by patients before doctors, patient anxiety about test indices, etc.


I was very impressed with their drive to serve their patients and their fiscal responsibility. I think they were equally impressed with Group Health’s member-centric approach and work on the internet. It is nice to know that Group Health is being joined by other organizations who are transforming American medicine using EpicCare. I think this organization will do great work for its patients.

Along with an impression of my shadowing of family physician and medical leader Meredith Rose, MD:

… he had a very cordial and supportive clinical style with his patients. There is clearly a different challenge in integrating online services in a practice that is not financed in a capitation model, yet he has been using e-mail in his practice already, so is ready for a secure link using EpicCare.

There are now more than 22,000 patients using Sentara MyChart, in primary care AND specialty care practices, and as the photograph shows above, the wall that was formerly bare is now tiled with success. It’s obvious in meeting with the group that the clinical/business leaders and care providers are empowered, too, to do just as predicted – to transform American medicine.

Oh, and they told us they have a consumer advisory group.

I ultimately don’t believe in the idea of physician resistance or that physicians don’t want to perform well for their patients. Everyone that goes into healthcare is exceptional by definition; they have to be for a job this challenging.

How great is it to be reminded of this fact? Very.




Great to meet you in person yesterday. Thanks for the tweet and post. Great picture depicting how far Sentara has come, and like everyone else, we're just getting started.


Great to see you, recount the past and discuss the future! Thanks much for recognizing our accomplishment!

I participated in the meeting at Sentara, and I was really impressed, too. They are really thinking about how to integrate social media into their work (look — 3 Sentara team members have already commented on this blog post!)

Sentara seems very committed to making positive changes that benefit providers and patients alike, and not afraid to push themselves into new realms — it was a pleasure to meet you all.

– Lygeia

Congratulations to Sentara on all your accomplishments! I've loved watching this program grow. I remember that meeting in 07 very well, and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to join.

Dear Lee, Dave, Janice, Karly, and Lygeia,

Thank you for truthifying the post with accurate #'s (spirt of social media, make everything better!), and tagging the post with your names through the comments, so people can know who made these accomplishments happen – also spirit of social media, connect accomplishments to the exceptional people who make them happen and others who notice them.

Can't wait to hear what happens next,


Ted Eytan, MD