The Patient Portal—Help or Hindrance?
We’ve always talked about quick access to all the information we want, when we want it. Gone are the days of ‘snail’ mail and encyclopedias. Now we have Patient Portals! And they are here to stay!
In 2016 the Cures Act went into effect, but the part that pertained to access to patient records wasn’t effective until April 2021. The Dept of Health and Human Services began enforcing the rule which declared that a hospital or doctor must allow access to a person’s health information. Failure to do so could result in fines for the doctor and hospital. Thus, the Patient Portal.
The result is that as soon as you have lab work, x-rays, CT scans, or a diagnostic test, YOU will receive the information (often before the doctor does.). This has led to much confusion and fright for many patients. A test result, read by a patient, out of context, or without a doctor’s explanation, can lead to confusion and anxiety and un-necessary emotional harm. I know this personally, when I received the results of my MRI well before my doctor. Seeing a report that stated “new lesions in areas of the brain,” really freaked me out!
In today’s world of instant gratification with computers, the emotional cost of instant access can be high.
- How have you been able to handle reports on the Patient Portal? What suggestions do you have for other members?