Introducing Our New Patient Portal

Gastro Health has undertaken an ambitious program to improve customer service and streamline business processes using state-of-the-art technology. We are happy to announce the release of our patient portal.

Our patient portal looks much like a website, but the similarities end there. A website offers a static user experience while our web-based patient portal, intimately connected to our electronic health record, is an important gateway into our medical practice for our patients. Our portal provides a secure, HIPAA compliant, two-way communication channel between our patients and us, their health care providers. Unlike our practice’s office operations, the portal provides convenient, 24-hour self-service options. It allows patients to handle business and clinical interactions with our practice at their convenience and allows our staff to respond in an appropriate non-urgent manner.

While the features of portals may vary, the options typically allow patients to complete, manage, or communicate with their provider regarding:
• Registration
• Financial clearance
• Medical history
• Appointment scheduling requests and confirmations
• Appointment recalls for preventive and other recommended care
• Test results notification and tracking
• Patient – health care provider communication
• Online bill payment
• Prescription renewal

We believe that an interactive web portal can help answer a number of commonly asked questions, and also allows our staff to work on more productive endeavors such as patient education, patient services, collections, and insurance follow-ups. It provides enhanced services to the patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and improves our patients’ experience with Gastro Health.

Regardless of the specific functionalities, patients find value in a well-designed and functional patient portal because they feel like they are participating in their care process and have been given a greater menu of choices. A 2008 survey by the Commonwealth Fund found that 94 percent of consumers rated easy access to their own medical records as either “important” or “very important” to them.

Gastro Health’s patient portal will streamline access to our practice by offering patients self-serve access to many of the functions and information that they most value from health care providers. A recent survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that nearly 80 percent of healthcare consumers were interested in gaining access, through their physicians, to an integrated medical record containing their test results, physician visits and other information. Three out of four surveyed wanted their physicians to provide online services to schedule appointments, get test results, access medical records and exchange E-mail.

Confirming the attitude of consumers to embrace portals, Intuit Health concluded that 72 percent of consumers would use a tool to help them pay their medical bills, easily communicate with physicians, make appointments, and obtain lab results online. Portals can meet all of these patients’ needs – and more.

Portal Benefits
A patient portal creates a single, customizable point of access to applications and information thereby providing tremendous value to our patients and our practice by strengthening physician-patient relationships, securely sharing information, improving practice operations and cost savings, improving accuracy, and increasing access while decreasing waiting times.

As patients are given more responsibility for their own health care costs, we at Gastro Health, feel that we must provide both quality and cost efficiencies in order to compete. Portals offer the transparency expected by a new breed of health care consumers who demand value and access. Forester Research analyst Elizabeth Boehm, who researches the role of online services in health care, concludes: “You wouldn’t consider not having a phone system, and the generations that are coming up are going to think it’s ridiculous not to be able to communicate via computer.”

So, we ask that you enroll in our patient portal. Go to our website (www.GASTROHEALTH.com), visit our offices, or call us so you can create your username and password TODAY.

Start taking an active role in your healthcare!