Doctor visits and follow ups have come a long way in a short amount of time; the invention of and the increased accessibility to the internet has created a whole new world for medical professionals and their staff. Just a short fifteen years ago, we would have to wait for a call from the office to learn what a simple blood test result was, or have to make phone calls ourselves to make a follow up appointment. While there is no harm in phone calls, the patient portal has made things eaiser for a lot of people, and is now an important part of healthcare. Here’s why:
It’s convenient. A lot of people today don’t like making phone calls, or don’t have the time to do so, and the portal has completely eliminated the need to dial a phone. Anyone with an internet or data connection has the ability to access their portal for a various amount of things. This also gives people with some handicaps, disabilities, or mental illnesses a better sense of independence, as they don’t have to go through someone else to make an appointment. Many portals give you the ability to schedule yourself an appointment with a few clicks, or just send a message to your doctor if you have a question.
Everything is right there. There was a time when you had to wait until your next appointment — or a phone call — to know the results of a test, but with the portal, you have access to the results the scond they’re logged into the system. It won’t just be the “important” bits that the doctor tells you, it’s the whole test and even the graphs. Not only do you have the ability to see the results of your tests, but you have access to all of your medical records without having to dig through a collection of papers. So long as everything has been uploaded by your doctor, it should all be in one spot for you to pull up at any given moment. Most doctors will even allow multiple members of a family to be on one account, so you could look at the same history, results, and visit summaries for your child, parent, or partner.
You have access to all of the practice’s doctors. Most patient portals will have a list of doctors with different areas of study, and oftentimes, when your doctor makes a referal, it goes through that portal and instantly contacts the referred doctor. There is also a list of which insurances will cover what you need done.
The patient portal has given people the ability to climb out of the backseat, and into the front passenger one; they get to help navigate their own healthcare, and nothing is ever left out. This brings the patients and doctors closer together, for an all-around better experience, and better quality of life for everyone.