In January 2014, Seraphina, a 29-year-old patient, used her Harbor Health Services, Inc. Patient Portal account to contact her care team. Though Seraphina had been enrolled in the Portal for almost six months, she had used her account only to check her lab work and review visit summaries until now. But on this day, Seraphina had concerns regarding her birth control method and sought out answers in a timely fashion. She needed to know the last time she had received a birth control shot and whether or not she could change its dosage. For a woman of childbearing age, these questions are integral to the family planning process. Further, Seraphina had concerns regarding other medical issues and hoped to see a specialist, which would require a referral from her provider. With the composition of one quick message, Seraphina was able to use her Portal account to contact her care team with all of these matters. In less than 24 hours, her care team’s nurse responded to her.
When handling the request, the nurse informed Seraphina of the date of her last Depo-Provera shot, adding in the date by which she would be due for another one. She informed Seraphina that she had forwarded the specific message content that required a provider answer to her nurse practitioner along with the referral request. Shortly thereafter, Seraphina’s provider directly contacted her through her Patient Portal account with the necessary follow-up questions about her medication and referral requests. Seraphina responded, thus able to remain in close contact with her care team through this process, becoming a part of the conversation regarding her own care. Seraphina’s Medical Home staff took care of her needs and left very little for her to worry about.
Seraphina was impressed by the prompt responses she received from her care team’s nurse and provider throughout the conversation chain. The online interaction saved Seraphina from the usual process of back and forth calls to the health center and offered her the comfort she needed with immediate answers to her various concerns. Each member of her care team worked to the top of their license to help Seraphina in a timely manner. “The Patient Portal positively impacted my ability to reach my provider when I needed to and allowed me to receive a direct answer without playing a game of phone tag.” said Seraphina.
Ultimately, Seraphina received the referral she had requested, successfully arranged a follow-up appointment for a family planning visit, all without picking up her telephone. She continues to use her Patient Portal to manage appointments, request referrals, and track her medication prescriptions, feeling engaged in the management of her health and medical care.
Seraphina’s experience with her Patient Portal exemplifies Patient-Centered Care. Life in a Medical Home includes worry-free, convenient communication and care planning that fit the needs of the patient, providing comfort, support, and reassurance to each individual served.
If you are a Harbor Health Services, Inc. patient and would like to enroll in the Patient Portal, please talk to your provider at your next appointment.