En­ter­ing the New Era of Health­care

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - New­port VT

It’s not news that hos­pi­tals and med­i­cal prac­tices have been slow to adopt elec­tronic health records. Con­cerns in­clude pro­tect­ing pa­tient con­fi­den­tial­ity and se­cu­rity as well as how to man­age a new way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with pa­tients. Yet in ev­ery other as­pect of our so­ci­ety, we de­pend on tech­nol­ogy to pay bills, do home­work, to check the weather and to pur­chase items from books to cloth­ing and even va­ca­tions.

North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal, along with the rest of the na­tion has em­barked on this jour­ney to embrace tech­nol­ogy to im­prove the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence of our pa­tients. One year ago, the Med­i­cal Prac­tices of North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal in­tro­duced Follow My Health, a se­cure pa­tient por­tal. This por­tal is the door for pa­tients to part­ner

with their provider on­line to take a more ac­tive role in man­ag­ing their health­care needs.

Pa­tients can now make on­line ap­point­ments, view their elec­tronic health record, re­ceive lab and test re­sults and com­mu­ni­cate with their Med­i­cal Prac­tices of North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal team – whether for re­quest­ing a pre­scrip­tion re­fill or ask­ing a rou­tine ques­tion. All this can be done from any com­puter or de­vice with in­ter­net ac­cess, any time of day at their con­ve­nience. The mes­sages that come from the Por­tal are re­viewed by the provider’s nurse who will take the ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions, just like when tele­phone calls are re­ceived.

The por­tal is a re­flec­tion of the in­for­ma­tion con­tained in a pa­tient’s med­i­cal record. When a pa­tient logs into Follow My Health, they can be as­sured that their in­for­ma­tion is pro­tected. Follow My Health meets the in­dus­try stan­dards for pro­tect­ing in­for­ma­tion. The Follow My Health pri­vacy pol­icy states that pa­tient in­for­ma­tion is en­crypted on three lev­els with fire­walls in place to pro­tect in­for­ma­tion. Put sim­ply, per­sonal iden­ti­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion such as name and ad­dress are kept in a sep­a­rate “locked vault” from med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion which is in its own “locked vault.” Then both of th­ese vaults are locked up in another “locked vault.”

Most home email is not set up with en­cryp­tion (those locked vaults) or the nec­es­sary pro­tec­tion to keep in­for­ma­tion se­cure. Pa­tients will only get no­ti­fi­ca­tions in their email that they have new in­for­ma­tion or a mes­sage. Pro­tect­ing in­for­ma­tion means tak­ing an ex­tra step to log-in to the web­site.

If you have a Follow My Health ac­count with North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal, you re­ceived an invitation to send your provider a mes­sage this month. The med­i­cal prac­tices want pa­tients to be­come fa­mil­iar and more com­fort­able with us­ing the mes­sag­ing within the por­tal for rou­tine ques­tions, ap­point­ment re­quests and med­i­ca­tion re­newal re­quests. Please take a few min­utes to find the “send a mes­sage” link in your por­tal. Over the next few months we will be send­ing out more mes­sages through the por­tal dis­cussing some of its fea­tures and invit­ing feed­back.

To sign up for an ac­count you can con­tact your med­i­cal prac­tice or go to the North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal web­site, click on the Follow My Health icon and follow the steps. For ques­tions, con­cerns or as­sis­tance please leave a mes­sage at 802-334-4192. This voice­mail is mon­i­tored five days a week Mon­day to Fri­day.

Please join North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal as we embrace the fu­ture. We will open the door for you as we all step into this new era of health­care.

Photo cour­tesy

Clin­i­cal Ap­pli­ca­tions An­a­lyst Anne Flynn, RN (and mem­ber of the pa­tient por­tal team), gives Jared Jewett some tips on the ac­cess and use of his own pa­tient por­tal ac­count.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.