Dept. of Uphill Battles — Patient Portals.

Interesting article about Patient Portals suggested by Stephen Wilkins over on the LinkedIn Patient Engagement Group from Mind The Gap.

As the article describes, the portals can be pretty useless. I received the following after inquiring why my patient portal “MyHealthOnline” didn’t include a scheduled surgery and didn’t reflect a cancelled appointment, (so that I couldn’t rely on it for finding out the status of appointments).

I am writing in response to your questions regarding viewing appointments in MyHealth Online. Your scheduled surgery doesn’t appear because the physician advisory group that made the original configuration decisions for MyHealth Online decided that only a few appointment types would appear in MyHealth Online. These are “office visits” and “appointments.” So, at present, visit types of “outpatient procedures”, which is how your surgery was scheduled, are not appearing.You are not the first person to point out that it would be helpful to be able to view outpatient procedures as well. The two of us who administer the MyHealth Online application have suggested that we include more encounter types, but no decision has been made yet. As for the cancelled appointment with <primary care provider> on 5/3, the only way to tell that it has been cancelled is that it doesn’t appear in your list of upcoming appointments. Our scheduling system is a different vendor from our electronic medical record. Records are interfaced to our electronic medical record and from there to MyChart. Your full electronic record does indicate that the 5/3 office visit with <primary care provider> has been cancelled. Unfortunately, MyHealth Online doesn’t display as many details as the full medical record.

Also of interest:
1. the name of my primary care provider was spelled wrong (wrong last name altogether).
2. A password reset which was requested by phone was unable to be done because they had typed in the wrong eMail address. This couldn’t be rectified over the phone, even though I regularly receive phone calls to verify appointments, which presumably are HIPPAA compliant. They will have to send something via postal mail. This is the third or fourth time this was necessary.

I don’t want to sound cranky….but what’s the point?

Posted in Electronic Health Record

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