How Does a Patient Portal Benefit My Child?
Electronic Medical Records or Patient Portals, as they are often called, provide us with many benefits for accessing our medical files. Of course, as with anything, there will be pros and cons.
One of the things to remember is that technology improves the ability to communicate. In this instance, it can help you avoid frustrating phone calls by providing a better way to communicate with your healthcare providers.
For parents, using a patient portal can help you provide the best care for your child. All the information you need is right there. Your life is busy, and it is easy to arrive at an appointment and realize that you forgot to bring a list of your child’s medications. No worries – it is all there in the portal for the doctor to review.
As long as all your providers, including doctors and therapists, are on the same network, they will all have access to the same information. It makes it easy for all providers to review the treatment plan and follow the progress. This type of collaborative approach benefits your child. If one of your chosen providers is not on the portal, you can still access the necessary information to share at any time, as well as add their reports to the portal.
Overall Pros of Patient Portals
- All your records in one place – makes it easier to coordinate care as the providers also have access to this information
- You do not have to worry about forgetting something – it will be available in your portal
- There is no need to go looking for your records at home – they are all there in your portal
- You can simplify your life by choosing providers who are all on the same portal
- Patient portals often provide educational features that can help with your healthcare
- You get to take a proactive role in your healthcare
- Your records go with you electronically if you move to another area – as long as you find a provider on that portal
- Message and communicate with your doctor
- Complete healthcare forms
- Schedule your appointments
- Request prescription refills
- Pay bills
- View your test results and doctor’s notes
- Provides safer emergency care – allergies, medications, health problems all available online for immediate review
Overall Cons of Patient Portals
- Although the networks are secure, there is still a chance that hackers can get in and access your information
- The portal may seem confusing at first
- You may misinterpret information you see in your test results if you read it before speaking to the doctor
- Some portals, including FollowMyHealth, require you to download their app
- Your adolescent child (check your state for age) has the right to remove your proxy access to their portal based on HIPAA guidelines, especially if seeking treatment for certain medical conditions and expressing their right to confidentiality
- Parental access is automatically revoked at age 18 – certain disabilities may allow for parents to maintain proxy access (the child can also grant this, if able and agreeable)
- A divorced parent will still have access unless prohibited by a court order
Some of the most common patient portals include:
- Greenway/Greenway Patient Portal
- Nextgen/Medfusion Patient Portal
- eClinicalWorks/Patient Portal
- MEDITECH/Patient and Consumer Health Portal
In the end, the benefits of using a patient portal far outweigh the negatives. The convenience, alone, of having everything in one place can take a significant burden off your shoulders. Any opportunity to improve your child’s care can make a difference in their life – and your own!
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This post originally appeared on our March/April 2022 Magazine