EpicCare Link FAQs

What is EpicCare Link?
EpicCare Link is Houston Methodist’s secure, online tool for connecting private and referring physicians and associated clinical staffs to Houston Methodist resources and patient information in one electronic health record. It provides view-only access to patients’ health records, including hospitalizations and specialist referrals, as well as real-time clinical data, for those who don’t have full Epic access. 

Houston Methodist EpicCare Link is for:
  • Houston Methodist Physicians' Alliance for Quality-affiliated physicians 
  • Houston Methodist private medical staff and associated office staff
  • Houston Methodist referring physicians
  • Community-based care partners, including nursing homes, dialysis centers and long-term care facilities

How does EpicCare Link work?

EpicCare Link provides registered users with secure access to their patients’ electronic health record information and test results from Houston Method facilities.

What computer equipment does EpicCare Link require?
To access EpicCare Link you need a PC or Macintosh computer, a high speed or DSL internet connection (dial-up not recommended) and current browser edition of Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

EpicCare Link uses industry standard encryption technology ensuring that only you and our staff have access. 

Is there a fee for using EpicCare Link? 
Houston Methodist is providing EpicCare Link at no cost to those who refer their patients to Houston Methodist for care. EpicCare Link is a web-based service that requires no installation on your servers or computers.

What information is available within EpicCare Link?

EpicCare Link provides view-only access to the patient's full Houston Methodist health record, including lab results, diagnostic test results, hospitalization records, procedural information, discharge instructions, progress notes, medications, allergies, medical history and more.

How long does a Primary Care Provider have access to a patient's medical record?

Providers who have been identified in the Houston Methodist’s electronic health records system (Epic) as the patient's Primary Care Provider (PCP) will have access to the health record for as long as the provider is listed as the patient’s PCP. Please note that EpicCare Link users must log into Houston Methodist EpicCare Link once every 90 days in order for their account to remain active. If your account becomes inactive, please call the Houston Methodist IT Helpdesk at 832.667.5600 to re-activate it.

How long will other users with a relationship to the patient have access to the health record?
Other users with a temporary relationship to the patient, such as consulting and referring physicians, their staff, a regulatory agent, or a provider at a community facility (e.g., a nursing home) will have access to a patient's Houston Methodist health record for 90 days following the user’s first log in to EpicCare Link. 

How do I sign up for EpicCare Link?
Please visit our EpicCare Link webpage at houstonmethodist.org/epiccarelink to request access.

What kind of role should I select?
Users can have one of the following four roles in EpicCare Link.
  • Provider: Select this role if you are the physician provider in your practice.
  • Clinical staff: Select this role if you work in a health care facility or practice, but you are not a provider.
  • Non-Clinician: Select this role if you provide billing, coding, scheduling or other non-clinical services.  
  • Regulatory and Compliance: Select this role if you provide oversight or review services on behalf of Houston Methodist.

Who should I contact if I am having problems accessing EpicCare Link?
Please contact the IT Helpdesk at 832.667.5600 to report a problem. Be sure to indicate to the helpdesk that you are working with EpicCare Link so that the ticket will be sent to the correct team.

How long does it take to get an account?
Once the request is submitted via houstonmethodist.org/epiccarelink, generally it takes 2 weeks to process the account, upon which user’s account information will be emailed to the email address specified in the request.

Once I submit the account, what happens next?
Once the account request has been approved and processed, you will receive your user name and password via email. Please make sure to enter an accurate email address in the request form to ensure the receipt of your usernames and passwords.

Is training required to use EpicCare Link?
Houston Methodist EpicCare Link contains embedded tools that provide tips and suggestions as you navigate EpicCare Link. There are some targeted education materials in the Quick Links section of EpicCare Link.

Can I share my EpicCare Link User Name and password with someone else?
If you have access to EpicCare Link as a part of your job, it is so you can perform your duties in support of caring for patients. When you agree to the Terms and Conditions of using EpicCare Link, you agree to keep this information private and not allow anyone else to use this information. You are responsible for any activity that occurs using your user name and password.  Even if you are called away from your computer and someone else is active with this information, you are responsible. 

If others in your clinic or department need EpicCare Link access, they can request their own account via our website – houstonmethodist.org/epiccarelink.

Who can reset my password?
Please call the IT Helpdesk at 832.667.5600 to reset your password. 

Does EpicCare Link help my practice attest to Meaningful Use?

No, EpicCare Link does not address specific Meaningful User criteria, but it is a valuable tool for physician office practices and chart reviewers.

Patient-related Questions

Why can’t I see my patients in the list?
Physicians may not see some of their patients upon logging in the system the first time since the patient relationship may not be established. Physicians may choose to add such patients using the First Access functionality via Patients List tab in the application. Please note that this functionality is available only to the physician/provider role. 

Is there additional information I can view or download on EpicCare Link?
Yes, you can download additional information such as user guides, quick reference material and other helpful documents from the Documents section on the toolbar.

How does Houston Methodist know when there is an access issue?

Houston Methodist conducts audits to protect the privacy of our patients by determining who is accessing patient records. Houston Methodist also performs audits when a problem is reported to the Houston Methodist. The rules, audits and consequences of privacy violations have not changed with our transition to Epic. These are all outlined in the Terms and Conditions you must agree to in order to use EpicCare Link. 

Can EpicCare Link providers contact the Houston Methodist provider who treated a patient, with questions about test results? 

Yes, providers have the ability to communicate directly via EpicCare Link’s “InBasket” feature; however, users must be mindful to enter the communication in a professional manner as any written communication is subject to disclosure in a legal proceeding. Personal communication is still the preferred method for questions related to patient care.