Have you ever left your healthcare provider’s office and forgotten what was said during the visit or thought of an important follow-up question?
If your answer to either or both of these questions is “yes,” there’s a simple solution: MyNAHealthcare, Northern Arizona Healthcare’s patient portal.
Hu Blake, M.D., F.A.C.S., chief medical information officer at NAH, answers a few questions about the benefits of patient portals.
Q: Why should patients use their MyNAHealthcare patient portal?
A: The patient portal allows for easy Internet access to view and print medical records, giving patients the opportunity to view their own up-to-date medical information.
Q: How does the patient portal benefit patients and providers?
A: The portal makes communication between the patient and the provider much easier. Here, patients can use secure messaging to ask questions, leave comments and take charge of their own medical history information. The provider can also instantly message back.
Q: How does the patient portal help providers communicate better with patients?
A: One major benefit is the patient visit summary. If patients forget specific details of a busy office visit, they can simply review the visit summary on the portal to remember what the provider said − and ask questions via secure message. This time-saving feature can cut down on unnecessary appointments as well as phone calls.
Q: As technology advances, how do you see patient portals evolving?
A: Both the electronic health record and the patient portal are continually evolving and changing. Additional technology will mean better functionality and greater access to information. In the future, the patient portal will allow records to be viewed from multiple sources – the hospital, office, or other healthcare facilities, such as an emergency department visit while on vacation. Eventually, healthcare systems in different states will be interconnected and able to securely share protected, relevant patient information.
Q: What else do you want people to know about the patient portal?
A: The portal is and will continue to be a great tool for patients. Not only is it a secure way to view your personal health record, it’s also a great source for information on specific health issues − including links to trustworthy websites like the Centers for Disease Control.
In coming months, the portal will be even more user-friendly and patient-focused. You can expect to see new tools to help you assess your own state of health and track your nutrition and exercise habits, as well as a new electronic health questionnaire.
Signing up for the portal is quick and easy. After you visit one of NAH’s facilities − Flagstaff Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center or an outpatient clinic − you’ll be asked if you would like to receive an email invitation to the portal. In the future, you will be able to self-enroll.