My First (Actual) Experience With A Patient Portal

During my time of writing about mHealth, I have had the opportunity to discover many apps, patient portals, and PHRs that have been created. However, I haven’t been able to use them beyond my initial review, for the most part. Why? Because most of the physicians my family aren’t really into the whole mHealth trend. I mean, my OB/GYN doesn’t even have a website (granted, he’s about 70 years old, and very much set in his ways). I’ve been kind of disappointed by the lack of technology that my son’s pediatrician’s office has, however. Until recently. A few weeks ago, when we were visiting with one of the PAs in the office, I was absolutely thrilled to see him using a tablet as he talked with us. He quickly pulled up information about our past appointments, and it was neat to actually see this new “era” of medicine in work. Well, besides this, I hadn’t seen much else available.

However, today I heard that the office had launched a patient portal feature to their website. Well, you’d better believe I called the office right away and got set up on it. I wasn’t expecting much, especially because it is still very new, but I have to admit, I’m impressed so far.

It has all the features I look for — the ability to message staff, set up appointments, refill prescriptions, and view information from past appointments. The format of the website is also very impressive. Here are a few screenshots I took (note, I did take out some of the identifying details, so that’s why there are some big blank spaces at times):

This is the main page for the patient portal. As you can see, it’s powered by eClinicalWorks. The front page has some essentials, such a appointment reminders and a quick link to a PHR. On the left, there is an easy to use menu.

I really liked the clinical information section. Because we’ve forgotten to bring my son’s immunization card with us a few times, it isn’t totally updated. Instead of going through the hassle of going to the office to get it figured out, all of the information can be found easily, and I also can find out the names of different problems that had been identified in the past. This did cause me to worry a bit, as there were some issues cited that the doctor never told us concerning our son

And finally, here is the last section I wanted to highlight. I’m someone who loves to keep records, and it’s nice to be able to see the history of the our appointments in the past, and who they were with. There are about 6 or 7 different physicians at this practice, and it sometimes is hard to keep track of who we’ve seen. We were wanting to switch my son’s PCP to one that we saw when he was first born, and I found out who that was easily just by looking at this chart.


As you might have noticed on some of these pictures, there is a mobile app in the works for this medical practice, which I’m so excited about. In just the past few months, this doctor’s office has really stepped up their game — first an awesome Facebook page, next the physicians are using tablets, and now the patient portal.

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of calling people and talking on the phone, so the ability to do a lot of that (schedule appointments, request information, refill prescriptions) is very nice. And just as a side note, as I’ve looked through the portal tonight, I discovered a few errors in some of the information that the office had on our family (as in, they listed my son as the emergency contact…for himself. And no phone number was listed for our family,) that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

Anyways, I just wanted to share a little bit of my excitement to see how doctors and physicians are starting to embrace the digital world, and realize that’s what patients want. Now if only I can get my OB to get on board, I’ll be a happy camper.

Does your doctor’s office offer a service like this? What do you like about it?