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Today, almost all health care facilities offer free patient portals. Patient portals are secure websites and mobile apps that give you direct online access to information from your electronic medical record. While many of these systems have been around for years, they still aren’t being used to their full potential. At two-thirds of hospitals, less than a quarter of patients have activated their patient portal. Despite our ever more connected world, many patients still don’t use or see the value in a patient portal. Patient portals allow you to schedule doctor appointments, access your medical history, and request prescription renewals, all from one site, even if the office is not open at that time. Patient portals give you a way to connect with your health care providers and actively engage in your treatment plans. When fully adopted, patient portals can even improve health outcomes for patients who use them. Patients can sometimes feel overwhelmed during a doctor’s appointment, whether due to unexpected news or complex medical terminology. Fortunately, patient portals allow providers to share clinical summaries after a screening or checkup, so patients can then easily reference their medical history or lab results on their own time. They can also use this information to send their doctor follow-up questions they may have forgotten to ask during the visit, thus helping them better understand their medical condition and care plan. • Schedule or request office appointments with your health care providers • View upcoming appointments • See your appointment history and details about each one • View test results faster • Request prescription renewals • Send secure electronic messages to your health care providers ACCESS YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION AND IMPROVE YOUR PARTICIPATION IN YOUR HEALTH CARE THE BENEFITS OF PATIENT PORTALS You can use your patient portals to:
View your immunization summary
• Stay up to date on screenings and make sure you’re not overdue • Manage your child’s or aging parent’s care • Pay your bill In many cases, you can even download copies of your electronic medical records for your own personal use and allow others to access your patient portal. We have found this feature helpful when gathering the medical documentation needed to support our clients’ Social Security disability claims. It’s easier than ever to sign up. At your next doctor visit, ask how you can activate your patient portal before you leave the office. Often, you can also visit your health care providers website and sign up online.
Information is power. With easy access to your health information you can have more control over how your health is being managed.
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