Have you set up your patient portal with your doctor’s office? I did so, skeptically, and then to my delight found it to be a very useful tool! I also found it enlightening to read my own medical record. There was information in it that I didn’t know about (i.e., a specific diagnosis). I was also able to request a prescription refill, which was promptly called in to the pharmacy and ready for me to pick up in just a couple of hours. This saved me the cost and time off work for an office visit. Score!
So what is a patient portal? Here’s what HealthcareITnews.com says:
“A patient portal is a Web-based access point that allows doctors and patients to communicate and share health information remotely, supplementing the ongoing management of the patient’s care. While portals can’t replace an in-office visit, they have many benefits: They are “designed to boost patient’s involvement in their care,” as portals encourage viewing test results and health documentation and can facilitate an ongoing doctor-patient dialogue. Additionally, portals can reduce costly paperwork by serving as online billing and payment centers. As part of the meaningful use Stage 2 requirements, providers must have “at least five percent of their patients using an online patient portal” to get incentive payments.”
Go to your physician’s office website to set up your own patient portal, or ask your doctor about it.