Patient Portal - General Information

What is the Patient Portal?

The Patient Portal provides you with secure, online access to portions of your medical records, as well as an easy and convenient way to communicate with the practice through a secure internet connection. Think of it as an online account for your doctor's office, similar to online banking or credit card accounts you may currently have. Once you are logged into your portal account, the information you view pulls from your own personal medical record. Only you will have access to your health records, including any messages or information sent to you from the practice.

With the patient portal you will be able to:

  • Send and receive non-urgent messages and information from your doctor's office, including test results and educational material
  • Easily notify the practice of changes to your personal information, including phone number, address, and insurance changes
  • Request a refill for a medication prescribed by a provider at the practice
  • View upcoming and previous appointments, including the doctor and location of those appointments
  • View and/or print your current medications and allergies list

Select a tab below to learn more.

How is the Patient Portal secure?

We take great care to make sure your health information is kept private and secure. The Patient Portal uses HTTPS to provide encrypted communication between you and your doctor's office. Access to your portal account is controlled through secure access codes, personal ID's, and passwords. Only you will have access to the login information needed to view your account.

What are the benefits of the Patient Portal?

The Patient Portal helps you take a more active role in your healthcare. Having a patient portal account helps the practice create a more accurate record of your medical history as well as educate you on certain aspects of your health. It provides you and the practice with a more efficient means of communication, eliminating sources of frustration such as phone tag. You will also be able to print or download portions of your chart to take with you to other providers participating in your care, thus reducing the amount of paperwork you may need to fill out. Having a patient portal account also helps to eliminate the amount of paper waste a practice produces. Documents, letters, and orders that might otherwise be mailed to you can be sent quickly and conveniently to your portal account. You will continue to have access to these documents until you choose to delete them from your inbox, so you won't have to worry about important medical papers or letters getting damaged or lost.

What do I need to use the Patient Portal?

You will need access to a computer connected to the internet and an up-to-date browser (such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari). You will also need an email address. The email address you provide is only used to notify you when you have a new message in your portal account. It is treated with the same privacy and care as your health records and will never be sold or leased. It is recommended that you use an email address only you have access to.

How do I sign up?

In order to have a patient portal account you will need to already be a patient at this practice. To activate your account, you will need to receive an activation code from us. Once you have received the code, you will be able to create your own username, password, and other login information used to verify your identity. If you would like to activate your portal account, please contact theoffice to receive your activation code.


Patient Access to Lab Results on the MEDENT Portal

Patients can have access to their lab results via the patient portal in two ways. The results can be manually sent to the patient so that they appear as a message in their inbox OR the patient can retrieve their results by creating a Chart Summary. The Chart Summary feature can be turned off, but in order to achieve Meaningful Use the practice must have it turned on. This feature is required to meet the MU Stage 1 CORE Objective: Provide patients with timely electronic access to their health information and the MU Stage 2 CORE Objective: Provide patients the ability to view online, download, and transmit their health information.

It is highly recommended that the practice educate their staff on the following information to ensure that all lab results are properly managed and processed in an effective manner. This is especially important if your practice is trying to achieve Meaningful Use.

Select a tab below to learn more.

Lab Result Messages

  • The user can manually send lab results to the patient's inbox as a results message. The patient will receive email notification that they have a new message, and the message will appear in their inbox with the Results heading in the subject.*

  • The results can be sent using the Portal button in the lab requisition screen. The user can add a note to the patient and select the areas of the order that they would like to appear on the portal, such as the reference range or provider note.

  • In v20.0 the patient will have the ability to respond to these results messages with any questions or concerns they may have.

  • *Please note that the patient will only receive an email notification when results are manually sent to their inbox. They will NOT receive notification when results have been released to the Chart Summary feature described below.

Lab Results in the Chart Summary

  • The patient has the ability to pull specific information from their medical record by creating a Chart Summary under the Chart tab on the portal. One of the areas they can select to pull is their results, which will include labs, xrays, and orders. Therefore, this is an area of the portal where the patient will have access to their results even if they have not been manually sent to their inbox. Unlike manually sending results to the inbox, the patient will NOT receive notification when a new result has been added to their medical record. The patient would have to take it upon themselves to log into the portal and create the Chart Summary in order to view the result.

  • For Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use in 2014 the patient must be provided with "the ability to view online, download, and transmit their health information within 4 business days of the information being available to the EP"1. The Chart Summary is the specific feature on the portal that provides the patient with this ability. Therefore it is required that the Chart Summary feature be turned on in order to meet Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use in 2014.

  • Per the Meaningful Use specification, the health information that must be made available to the patient electronically includes: "Patient name, Provider's name and office contact information, Current and past problem list, Procedures, Laboratory test results, Current medication list and medication history, Current medication allergy list and medication allergy history, Vital signs (height, weight, blood pressure, BMI, growth charts), Smoking status, Demographic information (preferred language, sex, race, ethnicity, date of birth), Care plan field(s), including goals and instructions, and Any known care team members including the primary care provider (PCP) of record"². Furthermore, the specifications define diagnostic test results as "all data needed to diagnose and treat disease. Examples include, but are not limited to, blood tests, microbiology, urinalysis, pathology tests, radiology, cardiac imaging, nuclear medicine tests, and pulmonary function tests."²

  • The Chart Summary will include all results that are part of the patient's medical record, regardless of ordering provider. The Results section pulls from the Lab area of the patient's chart. If there is a lab requisition with results entered, it will be included in the Chart Summary unless otherwise noted.*

  • The specific areas of the lab requisition that will be included in the Results section of the Chart Summary are the Result field(s), Result Notes (accessed through the Result Notes button in the requisition screen, Lab Company Note(s), and the Provider Note(s). Scanned or faxed reports that are linked into the requisition as a document will not be included in the Chart Summary.

  • In version 20.0 the patient can select a time frame for the information they would like included in their Chart Summary. For example, the patient can select to include results from the past week or from up to 3 years ago.

  • *Results can be excluded from the Chart Summary based on the provider's discretion using the Exclude from Portal option in the lab requisition screen. The results may also be temporarily excluded from the Chart Summary if it has been less than 4 business days since the requisition was marked received complete

Available Features for Managing Lab Results

  • The practice has the option to delay the lab results from being included in the Chart Summary for 4 business days*. This gives the provider time to review the results before they are made available to the patient online. Without this feature turned on, results are automatically included in the Chart Summary as soon as they are added to the patient's medical record in MEDENT.

  • The 4 business days is based on the Meaningful Use requirement that the patient be given timely access to their health information (with timely being defined as 4 business days). The countdown will begin when the order is marked received complete. The results will also be included in the Chart Summary once the order has been closed, even if it is closed before the 4 business days have passed. Closing the order implies that the results have been completely reviewed and are ready to be released.

  • he practice also has the option to exclude results from being included in the Chart Summary. This is done from within the lab requisition screen and applies to all tests in the order. The Exclude from Portal option can be checked at any time; i.e. it can be checked when the requisition is created in anticipation of sensitive results or it can be checked when the actual results have been received. Per the Meaningful Use specifications, "an EP may decide that electronic access to a portal or PHR is not the best forum to communicate results. Within the confines of laws governing patient access to their medical records, we would defer to the EP's judgement as to whether to hold information back in anticipation of an actual encounter between the provider and the patient"3. Therefore, the Exclude from Portal option should be used at the provider's discretion. It is important that the practice keep in mind the intentions of the Meaningful Use objections and use their best judgement to meet the measures.

  • The results will continue to be excluded from the Chart Summary until the box has been manually unchecked by a user at the practice. Therefore, even if 4 business days have passed since the results were received, or the requisition has been closed, the results will still not be included unless the Exclude from Portal option is unchecked.

  • If a practice is NOT trying to achieve Meaningful Use, the Chart Summary feature can be turned off**. However this is an all or nothing feature; if the practice turns off the Chart Summary to prevent patient access to Results they will also be removing access to other areas of the patient's chart included in the summary. Again, the Chart Summary option is required to meet the MU Stage 1 CORE Objective: Provide patients with timely electronic access to their health information and the MU Stage 2 CORE Objective: Provide patients the ability to view online, download, and transmit their health information. If the Chart Summary feature is turned off, the provider will not be able to meet Meaningful Use.

  • *This option is available in the MEDENT Portal settings by going to Office Tools, Interfaces, Medent Portal, Chart Tab Setup, Chart Tab Options, and check the box for Delay lab results in Chart Summary for 4 business days.

    **The Chart Summary can be turned off in the MEDENT Portal settings by going to Office Tools --> Interfaces --> Medent Portal --> Chart Tab Setup --> Chart Tab Options and set Allow patient to create a Chart Summary to No.

References

  1. United States. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Stage 1 Changes Tipsheet. 2012. Web.
  2. United States. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Stage 2 Eligible Professional Meaningful Use Core Measures: Measure 7 of 17. 2012. Web.
  3. United States. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Eligible Professional Meaningful Use Menu Set Measures: Measure 5 of 10. 2013. Web.

Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer or to request an appointment.

  • Orthopedic Associates, P.C.
  • 65 Pennsylvania Ave • Binghamton, NY 13903
  • (607) 723-5393

The information listed on this site is common guidance and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. Should you have a medical emergency, phone 911.