Patient Portals

Now that you have been diagnosed with heart failure, you will be adding a lot of healthcare visits, medications, blood draws, and tests to help manage your disease.  You may feel overwhelmed or even confused about everything that is going on and need somewhere that you can keep all of your information up to date.  You may have heard your doctor or nurse talk to you about a patient portal.  But what is a patient portal and how can you get access to it?

A patient portal is a place that you can go to communicate with your doctor as well as get information on your healthcare.  Healthcare staff will input information about your care into the patient portal and you can go back and access this information at any time.  You can also view appointments that you have as well as make appointments online.  Healthcare professionals are bound by HIPPA regulations which means that only those who are directly involved in your care will have access to this information.

Another useful tool is a patient health record.  This is health information that is stored and updated by you.  After each visit you can go in and input what was discussed, what tests were done and what the results were.  Here you can keep track of symptoms and exacerbation so that you can share them with your provider at your next visit.  A patient health record does not have to be done online.  It can consist of a notebook and pen that is designated for information on your condition.  With a patient health record you control what information is put in as well as who sees it which will help maintain privacy.

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