When I meet clients for the first time, I often ask if they have access to their patient portal so I can have a chance to review their medical records. Most patient portals allow you to see summaries of recent office visits, laboratory and x-ray results, your current medication list, immunizations, and allergies. Having access to this information can help me, as a client’s advocate, better understand their current medical condition and put a plan in place to get them the care they need—and deserve.
Unfortunately, many clients have never signed up for access to this valuable resource.
Patient portals came into being after the switch-over to electronic health records. Patients can sign up for this database with their family physician or specialist at the time of their visit by providing an e-mail address. After signing up, patients can access their visit summaries, communicate via secured messaging with their provider, request prescription refills, and schedule non-urgent appointments. Many portals also provide educational materials.
How it Works
By using a patient portal, you can communicate directly with your provider, often getting a faster response compared with the standard call system. You can also review records from multiple providers in the same health system to help you get better care management. For urgent issues, you should always call your provider’s office.
So, if you are not currently using a patient portal take the time to sign up. Being informed will help you advocate for better care. Allow Severino Health Advisors to help!