To run an efficient medical practice, one must be able to communicate effectively with patients. Many Electronic Healthcare Records integrate a HIPAA compliant “patient portal” to enable patients to view their records, medication lists, immunization list, and communicate with staff and providers. Patients frequently use portals to request medication refills, schedule appointments, pay bills, and to ask medical questions. Portals also are often used to send patients text or email reminders of upcoming appointments.
However, portals can be inefficient as requests are processed by support staff before they are communicated to the primary care or covering provider. This can frustrate patients as often it may take days to receive a response from a provider. Most portals also do not adequately support patient questionnaires, or electronic signatures of patient documents.
Hushmail is a terrific service that is very affordable ($100 per year or less per person) that expedites communication between a medical provider or medical staff with a patient. It is HIPAA compliant, and users are assigned a hushmail email account that encrypts emails messages sent to and received from patient. When a patient is sent a hushmail email they click on a link to access a secured web site. Users’ login and can view the email. In addition, patients can send encrypted files such as documents, videos, photos etc. to the provider. Providers can have patients fill out standard forms such as PHQ and GAD forms which are scored automatically upon completion. Providers can also use a handy design interface to develop forms for patients. Illustrations can be included in forms and signature blocks can be integrated as well.
Awesome service that will improve your ability to communicate with patients!